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Why Royal Caribbean does not have to share details of passenger who died on world’s largest cruise ship

The public might by no means know the total details surrounding the dying of a passenger who reportedly jumped from the world’s largest cruise ship earlier this month.

Under maritime legislation, Royal Caribbean is not obligated to launch the findings of its investigation into the dying of the passenger on the Icon of the Seas.

The legislation permits the corporate, and different cruise strains — to downplay details which may solid them in a adverse mild, stated Florida-based lawyer Keith Brais, whose agency specializes accidents and incidents at sea.

A man died on Sunday during a voyage on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas.
A person died on Sunday throughout a voyage on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. Getty Images

“They wouldn’t even need to report on how much alcohol might have been involved if it makes them look bad,” he informed The Post.

Royal Caribbean has not commented on the particular details of the incident and has solely expressed its condolences to the household of the deceased.

The US Coast Guard in Miami stated it assisted with the search, however it’s not concerned within the investigation into the passenger’s dying.

Deaths on cruise ships are uncommon — however distinctive circumstances of a floating metropolis in worldwide waters — the Icon of the Seas can carry up to 7,000 folks — implies that they’re not dealt with like deaths on land.

What occurs to somebody who dies on a cruise ship?

When an unidentified man jumped from Royal Caribbean’s new 1,200-foot-long Icon of the Seas on the primary day of a seven-day voyage on Sunday, a rescue boat from the ship discovered him and introduced him again aboard.

Passengers had been initially informed that the person was within the intensive care unit, however the Coast Guard confirmed to The Post that he died.

The man's body was retrieved by the cruise line with help from the US Coast Guard.
The man’s physique was retrieved by the cruise line with assist from the US Coast Guard. X / @davidcanter

The Icon of the Seas proceeded on its voyage across the Gulf of Mexico after the incident.

It’s not clear the place the person’s physique is now, nevertheless it was seemingly taken to the ship’s morgue till it may be transferred to authorities on land, Brais stated.

The ship has stopped in Honduras and Mexico, and is about for another port of name within the Bahamas earlier than it returns to Miami on Saturday.

Who investigates deaths at sea?

While the US Coast Guard assisted Royal Caribbean within the search and rescue of the person who fell overboard, officers stated it was the cruise line’s rescue boat that finally discovered and transported the physique, and it will be up to the corporate to examine the case.

Brais stated Royal Caribbean is not required to launch its findings to the general public, including that it’s uncommon for a corporation to publish something that might make them appear responsible for the dying.

“As a result, the cruise line is likely to find that the passenger’s death resulted from ‘natural causes,’ even if the totality of the circumstances at hand suggests otherwise,” in accordance to his legislation agency.

Braise famous that in his a long time of expertise within the business and legislation, alcohol is concerned within the majority of instances.

Royal Caribbean did not reply to The Post’s request for remark.

Royal Caribbean is investigating the cause of death.
Royal Caribbean is investigating the trigger of dying. X / @davidcanter

Does the household have any recourse in regards to the investigation?

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety act, which was handed in 2010, mandates that cruises not solely observe strict laws to guarantee passengers are protected, however to additionally monitor crimes aboard their ships.

In regards to Sunday’s incident, Brais stated the person’s household ought to have a look at whether or not Royal had the right boundaries in place to hold folks from falling overboard and if they’d Man-Overboard cameras put in that alerted them to the incident.

Even if Royal Caribbean was discovered to be negligent within the man’s dying, the compensation may very well be restricted to simply protecting funeral bills below the Death of the High Seas Act, Brais added.

Boats were deployed to search for the man's body on Sunday.
Boats had been deployed to seek for the person’s physique on Sunday. X / @GenAIChad

How widespread are deaths on cruise ships?

It could be tough to decide what number of deaths have occurred on cruise ships because it’s up to the businesses to report such incidents.

According to the Department of Transportation’s Cruise Line Incident studies, there have solely been 4 deaths aboard main cruise strains between January 2020 to March 2024.

Despite these numbers, Brais stated it’s not uncommon for such man overboard tales to make headlines as soon as each three weeks.

According to cruise skilled Dr. Ross Klein, who maintains a master list of media reports of incidents the place passengers have gone overboard, there have been at the very least 410 folks who have fallen off cruises or ferries within the final 24 years.

Icon of the Seas dying is the second to this point this yr aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise. In April, a drunk 20-year-old passenger reportedly jumped to his dying from the Liberty of the Seas following a dispute together with his father.

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