Last week, a father of four cruising on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship died in Roatan during a stop in that port after he dove into the water from an elevated structure of a pier.
Edmund David Rucker, believed to be 52 years of age, was with his wife and family when the tragic accident occurred shortly after the Allure of the Seas ported in Roatan, Honduras during a one-week cruise which left Galveston on March 12, 2023.
The accident occurred on March 15th when Mr. Rucker dove from an elevated structure into the water below. The purpose of the platform is less than clear. The structure may have been previously used to support a zip line which was abandoned years ago. It is currently unknown why the dangerous structure was still available for use by tourists. Many other cruise passengers discussed on message boards that there were no warning signs in place.
Several people indicated that other accidents, including “multiple deaths in the same area,” had happened and that there should be warnings to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Mr. Rucker apparently struck his head below the water. Local news accounts indicate that he “suffered a severe blow to his head, and was left unconscious once his body fell into the sea. His relatives realized that after several minutes he did not come to the surface, so they alerted the authorities and other people who were swimming on the beach.”
We were first notified on the day of the accident by a guest on the Allure of the Seas who stated that Mr. Rucker’s body was brought aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship shortly before the ship left Roatan.
Deaths in international waters during cruises are governed by the Death On the High Seas Act (DOSHA) which limits the recovery to “pecuniary” damages suffered by dependent family members. Pain and suffering, grief and bereavement and other emotional losses are not permitted under DOSHA.
A local newspaper in Texas commented that Mr.Rucker, known as “Eddie,” was a beloved father of four children and the loving husband to his wife Laura.
A Go Fund Me page has been established for the Rucker family. Please consider donating to this family.
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March 21, 2023 Update: Newsweek covered the accident: Cruise Ship Passenger Dies After Jump Into Water Goes Wrong
March 21, 2023 Update: The platform in question was apparently a popular location for tourists. A photograph which we received from an cruise passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, shows people jumping from the platform into the water.
March 22, 2032 Update: Newsweek updated its article today and highlighted the delayed and inadequate care provided to Mr. Rucker.
Image credit: Abandoned zip line (top)- Diario del Aguán, (bottom) – anonymous, family photo – Go Fund Me page