Cruise Ship Stored Dead Body in Drinks Cooler for 6 Days

Cruise Ship Stored Dead Body in Drinks Cooler for 6 Days

Whether it’s polluting our oceans and air, causing illness outbreaks or even straight up massive fist fights and sexual assaults, cruise ships are pure trash. We can add “storing loved ones improperly in drinks coolers” to the list of reasons to avoid these floating toilets.

Robert Jones died of a heart attack while aboard a Celebrity cruise in August 2020. His widow, Marilyn Jones, filed a lawsuit in US District Court against Celebrity Cruises for improperly handling her husband’s body in the days following his death. From CNN:

The lawsuit states that after Jones’ death, his wife, Marilyn Jones, was told that she had two options for what could be done with her husband’s body. According to the lawsuit, those options were to “either have Mr. Jones’ body removed from the ship in San Juan,” Puerto Rico or to “have his body stored on the ship until it reached port in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, approximately six days from the date of his passing.”

Jones’ body stayed on board the ship for “approximately six days,” according to the lawsuit.

“When the funeral services employee in Ft. Lauderdale was brought onto the ship to retrieve Mr. Jones’ body, his body was not located in the ship’s morgue,” the lawsuit said.

“Instead, Mr. Jones’ body had, at some time not yet known, had been moved from the ship’s morgue to a cooler on a different floor than the ship’s morgue. The cooler in which Mr. Jones’ body was found by the funeral employee had drinks placed outside of the cooler, and was not at a temperature which was sufficient nor proper for storing a dead body to prevent decomposition,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also says the body was found “in a bag on a palette on the floor of the cooler” and that it “was in advanced stages of decomposition.”

So, they have a morgue on board, but some how the body was stuffed into a drinks cooler by someone at some time. A cooler that already contained drinks it was supposed to contain. That cooler was already fulfilling its purpose while a perfectly good morgue sat empty! The decision making here really boggles the mind. As we saw with the BuzzFeed News report on sexual assaults at sea, staff aboard these cruises are often not exactly trained in things like collecting evidence or (apparently) body storage.

I can’t imagine the pain and devastation of losing your husband while isolated on a ship and then learning your loved one was rotting in a cooler while you thought they were being properly cared for while you continued on your journey. The family is asking for $US1 million in compensatory damages and they should get every red cent.

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