Suspected suicide on cruise ship
A female crew member on the Harmony Of The Seas, which is anchored off Barbados, is reported to have committed suicide while waiting to be repatriated.
Police public relations officer acting inspector Rodney Inniss confirmed the incident.
News circulating in the cruise industry said 28-year-old assistant waitress Mariah Jocson, who was a relatively new member of staff, was last seen around 3 a.m. on Friday. Her body was discovered around 1 p.m.
Jocson is from Mandaluyong in the Philippines and her family has been notified by Royal Caribbean, owners of the cruise ship.
This has reportedly been a difficult time for crew anchored offshore around the world during COVID-19 pandemic when many countries closed their borders almost three months ago.
There are reports of eight other suicides among Royal Caribbean crew worldwide during that time and one attempt since May 1.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley offered Barbados to be the gateway for repatriating crew and more than 30 ships were on lay over here during that time.
Harmony of the Seas arrived on May 27 and currently has about 2 000 crew waiting to be repatriated. Many of them were on other vessels, including the Vision of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.
The Royal Caribbean “Crew Repatriation Weekly Update” for June 5, lists over 20 flights from Barbados to the Philippines in the next three weeks through June 30.
Repatriation involves a collaboration among several local organisations including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Barbados Port Inc., Ministry of Health, Customs and Immigration and Grantley Adams International Airport. (SAT)
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