Out of the Blue

Trip Start Jan 28, 2012
1
4
Trip End Feb 05, 2012


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Where I stayed
RCCL Allure of the Seas

Flag of Mexico  , Quintana Roo,
Friday, February 3, 2012

We were jarred awake at 7:11am by the ship's alarm and an urgent call for Kenneth John Gemmell to contact guest relations.

We thought it was a mistake.

Then another alarm - and a notice of a mandatory muster drill - for EVERYONE aboard.

We assumed it was related to the arrival in Cozumel and was related to immigration paperwork - since these things are very time sensitive. But a full muster drill?

Our station (along with MANY others) was the Royal Promenade were we could see everyone standing, in varying states of sleepwear and cruisewear, trying to understand what was going on. We could see Cozumel out the window - but we had stopped moving. They began calling names and checking off lists - as people slowly made their way to the station.

Then we learned that the unthinkable had happened - as the captain announced that someone had fallen overboard and they were trying to locate him. We stood for quite a while - and finally at 8:45 they told us that they had confirmed that someone had gone overboard. They were leaving a couple of tender's behind to assist the coastguard in searching - and we made our way to Cozumel.

Later we learned the horrible story. Kenneth was from the UK and had booked the cruise as a 30th birthday present for himself. Tuesday had been his birthday - and Thursday night had been a long one. He had gotten in a fight with a bartender - and returned to his cabin at 6:30am to shower. He had a random roommate with the roomshare program - as it happened someone who was making his first venture out after his partner had committed suicide years earlier. They had said hello to each other and then the roommate went to breakfast.

Apparently - according to the camera's on board the ship - Kenneth climbed up on this 11th deck balcony table and stepped over the railing. Neighbors who were up to see the sunrise witnessed this and called for help. This resulted in the ships alarm and the immediate call for Kenneth over the PA.

It was a bit of a numbing story. There were so many different perspectives.

His family couldn't believe that this had happened - and were not able to accept the RCCL story. Hs roommate was traumatized - both by the event itself but also since his room was sealed for 2 days as an investigation took place. We can only imagine how the person who witnessed the event must remember that vacation (does it still get to be called a vacation for him?)

We all were affected by this - even if it only meant getting out of bed early - or for others cancelled excursions due to a late arrival. It seems so selfish to only look how this affected us - since he was one of our own. But also - how selfish is it to commit suicide in a such a public way.

In the end - we can only say that it is a very sad event - and the impact on the two of us was inconsequential.
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