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Murder on the high seas? Police seek ‘muscular man’

November 19, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A middle-aged woman said to have plunged from an upper deck of a giant cruise ship, crashing to her death on a lifeboat, was reportedly struggling with a “muscular” man seen choking her before the fall.

That’s the news story carried by website Diario on the Caribbean island of Aruba. The report followed the mysterious death of an American woman on the ship Royal Princess while the 19-deck ship was sailing between the islands of Curacao and Aruba.

Caribbean news outlets including Mas Noticia say a murder investigation is underway.

A passenger on the ship told Cruise Law News, the blog edited by renowned Miami-based maritime lawyer Jim Walker: “A women [sic] on royal princess, princess cruise line was pushed or fell from the lido 15th or 16th deck onto the top of  life boat #2 at 4 am in the morning. She died instantly. Once the ship arrived into Aruba, authorities boarded the ship. Outcome of investigation is unknown. Passengers said the scene was gruesome.”

In a brief statement sent to USA Today late last week, Princess Cruises confirmed that a 52-year-old American woman died on Royal Princess early Tuesday as it was sailing to Aruba.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our sincere condolences to the family and those affected,” the cruise line continued. “An official cause of death has not been announced.”

The Miami Herald reports a cryptic post on cruise community website Cruise Critic.com by a passenger apparently aboard Royal Princess, which returned to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday after a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise.

“Last night something serious happened on Royal Princess,” the post stated. “At 4:30am there was a ship wide security announcement broadcast directly into the cabins. Security personnel was told to gather on deck 7. Another announcement was made shortly after that only broadcast in the halls and common areas.”

The cruiser said that when the 3600-passenger ship docked in Aruba, the captain announced there had been “a serious incident and no one could leave as local authorities were coming onboard”.

The Associated Press has since reported that the FBI and Aruban authorities are investigating the woman’s death.

Royal Princess at Southampton Dock 

In a brief wrap-up of similar cases, Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News notes that in July last year, the FBI arrested the husband of a 39-year-old woman who was murdered aboard Emerald Princess operated by Princess Cruises in Alaska.

Earlier this year, the boyfriend of a 50-year-old woman was arrested for murder aboard Carnival Elation after allegedly hurling her off their balcony into a lifeboat below – and last month in Australia a passenger was arrested after allegedly trying to throw his partner off Radiance of the Seas. For a report on the latter incident at the time, see: Man ‘tried to throw partner off Radiance of the Seas’

Written by Peter Needham

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