You’ll Never Believe the Horrific Ways People Have Died on Cruise Ships

Cruises are a great way to spend your vacation days. But sadly, tragic events do occur. Read on for some of the horrific ways people have died on cruise ships, plus what your odds of running into tragedy actually are (page 15).

A 21-year-old died from an allergic reaction

Cruise Port in St. Maarten

Cruise ships | fallbrook/iStock/Getty Images

In 2010, Kevin Edourd had just boarded a cruise ship when he decided to consume a peanut cookie. He was unknowingly allergic to peanuts and suffered a deadly allergic reaction aboard the ship. It is not known whether or not the cruise ship had an EpiPen on board. The allergic reaction triggered a heart attack, which was the official cause of death.

Next: Tragedy struck this couple on their vacation.

A newly engaged couple fell overboard on their vacation

Scenic view of cruise liner deck and ocean

Cruise ship | cassinga/iStock/Getty Images

In 2013, a couple had been on vacation when their cruise turned tragic. According to findings, the young woman, Kristen Schroder, climbed over the railing on the cruise ship in what was a “dramatic gesture” during a fight with her boyfriend. She slipped, and he jumped in after her. Sadly, the two passed away. The family said the trip was a “make or break” trip for the couple who had a volatile relationship.

Next: A hurricane was responsible for this man’s death.

Rough seas made a 70-year-old fall off a staircase

Cruise Liners On Hardanger fjorden, Norway

Cruise in Norway |

In 2005, 70-year-old Michael Bedford was on a cruise with his wife when rough seas from a hurricane turned their trip into a disaster. Bedford was at the top of a staircase, and a strong wave caused the ship to jolt. He lost his balance and fell to the bottom, where he died 15 minutes later. There was a warning that people should not be out and about the ship during such rough seas, since the waves made it dangerous.

Next: The father of this six year old filed a lawsuit after his son’s death.

A 6-year-old drowned in the ship’s pool

Cruise Line Carnival, cruise ship Victory Sails from Port George Town

Cruise | NAN104/iStock/Getty Images

In 2013, 6-year-old Qwentyn Hunter was at a Carnival cruise ship pool with his father when his father bumped into an old friend and got distracted. Sadly, the boy was left unattended and ended up drowning in the pool. But three years after his death, the family filed a lawsuit saying Carnival did not employee lifeguards in order to save money — but in turn, it cost someone’s life. The lawsuit is still ongoing.

Next: A bartender illegally served alcohol this 15-year-old.

Intoxication led a 15-year-old to fall overboard

Creative exotic alcoholic cocktails in bar

Cocktails | Milkos/iStock/Getty Images

In 2006, 15-year-old Lynsey O’Brien was on a cruise ship with her family when she found a bartender that served her alcohol. According to reports, the bartender allowed the underage girl to consume as many as 10 drinks. The girl left her room because she felt sick, and she ended up falling overboard. Her body was never recovered despite a rigorous search. Her father was distraught and fought for better safety on cruise ships. Sadly, he took his own life a few years later.

Next: A reconciled marriage ended in murder on a cruise ship.

A 52-year-old woman was killed by her husband

Stormy Cruise Ship Deck

Cruise ship deck | welcomia/iStock/Getty Images

In 2006, Micki Kanesaki had recently reconciled with her ex-husband when the two decided to take a cruise together. But her husband strangled her in order to gain access to her finances, which would leave him with more than $1 million. By the time her body was found, he was already back home. He claimed she disappeared after he took a sleeping pill. It wasn’t until years later, when he shifted the money around in his bank accounts, that investigators became suspicious of him as suspect.

Next: This man died when the doctor refused to see him.

One man suffered an unknown illness during his cruise vacation

Doctor checking tablet

Doctor | Megaflopp/iStock/Getty Images

Cruise ships are notorious for carrying viruses, but one man suffered an illness that ended up taking his life. According to reports, Don Bryce fell ill and was prescribed medicine to control his diarrhea and vomiting, but his wife insisted the doctor see him. The doctor refused, and the man passed away. But cruise ships that hire out doctors are not responsible for those doctors’ actions, and the cruise ship was not reprimanded for his death.

Next: This woman’s trip had barely started when she died.

A 42-year-old woman fell overboard only two hours into her trip

Cruise ship on Alaska Marine

Cruise ship | oksanaphoto/iStock/Getty Images

It was Mother’s Day in 2008 when Mindy Jordan, who had been vacationing with her boyfriend, tragically fell from her balcony. Jordan was only about two hours into her trip when the accident occurred. She and her boyfriend had a volatile relationship, according to family members, and he supposedly told a different story to the woman’s family than the FBI had told. The family believed the stories did not add up, but it was never determined whether or not her boyfriend played a role in her death.

Next: An anniversary trip ended in tragedy.

A 39-year-old woman was killed by her husband

The world's largest ocean liner, the 'Liberty of the Seas' arrives at the Port of Southampton

Cruise | Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

A 2017 family vacation led to a husband’s outrageous actions. A family was on a cruise to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary when Kenneth Manzanares became belligerent at dinner. Tragically, he allegedly killed his wife, Kristy, in their cabin, and reports later said one of his daughters was not surprised by what happened. The couple had had a volatile relationship for years. When investigators asked why he allegedly did it, he said, “She would not stop laughing at me.”

Next: A bus crash claimed the lives of 11 cruise ship passengers.

11 cruise ship passengers died on their way to Mayan ruins in Mexico

3D Cruise Destination Ocean

Cruise |

When a cruise ship docked in Mexico in 2017, several passengers decided to board an excursion to see ancient Mayan ruins. But the trip ended in devastation. The bus crashed, and 11 cruise ship passengers were killed. There were 27 passengers on the bus, and they came from various countries. Eight Americans were among those killed in the accident.

Next: A woman was on the ship for mere hours when tragedy struck.

Just 10 hours into the cruise, a 33-year-old woman fell overboard

Cruise deck

Cruise deck | iStock/Getty Images

33-year-old Samantha Broberg fell backward to her death mere hours after leaving for a cruise vacation. Broberg was intoxicated when she sat on the rail and fell backward. A year later, her husband (who was not on the trip with her) filed a lawsuit saying that cruise ships do not implement enough safety measures to prevent overboard falls. His lawsuit also claimed none of the crew were made aware of his wife’s accident until the following morning. He then said the media was alerted about his wife’s death before he was.

Next: A 21-year-old tragically died on a cruise with his friends.

A night with friends turned tragic when a 21-year-old fell overboard

man pouring mouth wash from bottle to bottle cap

Mouthwash | iStock/AndreyPopov

In 2006, a 21-year-old Ohio man was on a cruise with his friends when he went overboard. Reports showed that he had been heavily intoxicated, and security cameras showed him falling off the side of the boat late at night. Reports also claimed that he had snuck alcohol in mouthwash bottles onto the ship and was drinking for several hours. Sadly, his body was never found.

Next: Cruise ship deaths were sky high in 2017.

There were 46 cruise ship deaths in 2017

Carnival Fantasy cruise ship

Cruise ship | Ron Cogswell/Wikimedia Commons

Cruise ship deaths have increased in recent years. According to the New York Daily News, in 2017, 46 people died on cruise ships and excursions, including 31 who died from “unnatural causes.” (One large cause of death in 2017 was the fatal bus accident in Mexico.) According to reports, of those 31 deaths, 10 involved people either falling overboard or falling from a balcony. This has prompted some to request an increase in safety measures on board cruise lines. But so far, no official changes have been implemented.

Next: This type of death is not unheard of on ships.

Death by natural causes is not unheard of on cruise ships

Cruise Ship Sea Ocean Tropical Scenic Concept

Cruise ship | Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images

While any death is unfortunate, people dying from natural causes has always been something cruise ships have had to deal with. Many people who take cruises are retired and travel for weeks at a time. Inevitably, deaths do occur. But in recent years, more and more tragic accidents have been causing deaths. In 2017, for example, the large majority of deaths were unnatural, meaning they could have been prevented.

Next: Your odds of dying on a cruise ship are still extremely low.

But the odds of dying on a cruise ship are only abut 1 in 100,000

MSC Musica cruise ship approaching the port in Kotor

Cruise | Makinwa/iStock/Getty Images

The New York Daily News reports that although cruise ship deaths have increased, the odds of dying on a cruise ship are still extremely rare. The average year sees about 21.7 million passengers aboard cruise ships, so with only 46 deaths, the odds are only about 1 in 100,000. And while cruise ship deaths do happen, they are to be expected when so many passengers are on board, and the uptick in deaths does not necessarily mean cruises are dangerous.

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