Liberty Of The Seas accidents and incidents

Liberty Of The Seas cruise ship


Length (LOA)
338 m / 1109 ft

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CruiseMapper's Liberty Of The Seas cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 4414-passenger vessel owned by Royal Caribbean. Our Liberty Of The Seas accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2018
  • structural - 2021 (5 cruises cancelled due to an extended drydock)
  • deaths - 2009 (Legionnaires’ Disease, drowning), 2010, overboard (2011, 2015), 2012 (buggy crash in Cozumel Mexico), 2015 (kid drowned in the pool), 2017 (crew), 2019 (car crash in Belize)
  • injuries/crimes - 2010 (bomb threat)*, 2012
  • Norovirus (passengers/crew) - 2007 (200 / 12)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (2 crew)
  • boat rescues - 2023 (17 Cubans)
  • fun - 2013 (whole-ship charter for USD 3 million)

14 January 2023Boat Rescue

On January 14, 2023, while en route from Florida to The Bahamas, the ship rescued 17 Cuban refugees sailing towards the USA on a makeshift boat. According to RCI's statement, the small boat was adrift and needed assistance. The ship lowered a tender boat and the Cubans were rescued - brought on board and provided with food and medical attention. The US Coast Guard was duly notified of the rescue operation.

The incident occurred at the beginning of the 3-night "Bahamas and Perfect Day Cruise" (itinerary Jan 13-16, roundtrip from Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale) visiting CocoCay (Jan 14) and Nassau (Jan 15). However, due to rough seas, the scheduled call at CoCo Cay was canceled and the ship stayed at sea.

April 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On April 2, 2020, the anchored at sea (near Port Galveston TX) cruise liner reported 2 crew tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The report followed Royal Caribbean's decision to test for the virus all the staff-crew on all RCI ships (fleetwide).

One of the infected was disembarked and hospitalized in Galveston. The other crew tested COVID-19 positive but was not showing the symptoms and remained quarantined onboard. As of April 2, a total of 11 other crew on Liberty OTS were isolated after showing high temperature.

All people on the ship were transferred from their crew deck cabins to passenger staterooms (on upper decks) and isolated (in separate cabins, one person per room), with food and beverages delivered by on-duty staff. Temperature screening to all staff-crew was conducted twice daily.

08 January 2020Structural and Technical Issues

On January 8, 2020, RCI announced the cancellation of five Western Caribbean cruises (7-day itineraries roundtrip from homeport Galveston TX) to extend the drydock time for the ship's scheduled for 2021 Royal Amplified refurbishment in Freeport (at Grand Bahama Shipyard).

All booked customers were emailed about the cancelled voyages. RCI provided all bookings with the options to either rebook on Liberty OTS (other itineraries in 2021), rebook with the exact departure dates on Jewel OTS, rebook another RCI cruise or cancel with a full refund. The 5 cancelled itineraries were departures February 14, February 21, February 28, March 7, March 14.

28 November 2019Crew / Passenger Deaths

(car crash) On November 28, 2019, at ~3:45 pm, while the cruise liner was berthed in Port Belize (Belize City), a female passenger (Texas citizen) died ashore in a car crash accident. The 77-year-old woman (Carolyn Gillis) was not seat belted. She was thrown through a tour van's windshield and died instantly. According to the van's driver, the vehicle (Ford Freestyle) flipped several times following a tire blowout. The accident happened close to Carmelita village (Orange Walk District) on Phillip Goldson Highway (connecting Belize City with Mexico's Quintana Roo state).

The elderly woman was cruising with 6 family members, who were also on this independently booked tour. Her 79-year-old husband suffered a cut to the right ear, bruises to the right arm and abrasion to the left hand. Their 45-year-old son suffered an abrasion to the left arm, while his 43-year-old wife suffered cuts to the left knee and abrasion on the back. Their 13-year-old son suffered an abrasion to both knees, while their twin daughters sustained minor injuries to the necks and heads.

The incident occurred during 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary November 24 - December 1) roundtrip from homeport Galveston TX and visiting Honduras (Isla Roatan), Belize (Belize City port stay 8 am - 5 pm) and Mexico (Cozumel).

25 September 2018Fire Accident

On September 25, 2018, at ~1:45 am, while en-route from Texas USA to Roatan Island (Honduras), the ship suffered an engine room fire accident. The fire emergency (code Bravo) was announced via the PA system (loudspeakers in passenger cabins and common areas).

By ~2:30 am was made a 3rd /the last announcement (first directed to the crew, then to the passengers) that the situation is under control. At ~ 10:30 am, from the Navigation Bridge, the Captain announced that of one of all 6 main diesel engines caught fire and is currently out of service and that the remaining engines are operational.

The accident occurred at the beginning of 7-day Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary Sept 23-30) roundtrip from homeport Galveston TX to Roatan Island, Belize City and Cozumel (Mexico).

24 April 2017Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On April 24, 2017, a 39-year-old male crew was reported missing (presumably fell overboard). The man (Norman DeCastro, of Filipino origin) worked on the ship as bartender. The search for him started after he didn’t report for work. He was last seen on a CCTV camera at ~1:30 am (April 24).

He was officially reported missing at 4:30 am, after a complete shipboard search was conducted. Followed an USCG search and rescue operation via one patrol boat dispatched from Galveston TX. The USCG ship was assisted by an airplane dispatched from Corpus Christi Airport (Nueces County Texas).

The accident occurred in Gulf of Mexico, approx 170 ml (270 km) southeast of Galveston Texas. The ship was en-route to Cancun, on a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise (itinerary April 23-30) roundtrip Galveston to Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman Island and Falmouth Jamaica. The USCG operation was suspended in the afternoon of April 25, after searching an area of over 17,100 km2 (6,600 ml2).

21 December 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

On December 21, 2015, an 8-year old boy drowned in a swimming pool on Lido Deck 11. The kid was spotted and pulled out of the water (unconscious) by a passenger. The ship’s med team immediately responded administering CPR and attempting resuscitation for over an hour – unfortunately, unsuccessful.

Unlike public swimming pools, most cruise ships don’t have lifeguards stationed at the onboard pools. The accident occurred while the ship was at sea, en-route from Galveston to Mexico on the second day of a 7-day Western Caribbean "Christmas Cruise" from Galveston TX (roundtrip itinerary Dec 20 – 27) with call ports Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya.

22 March 2015Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On March 22, 2015, a 47-year-old male passenger jumped overboard at ~9 pm. According to a witness, the man “climbed over a railing” on deck 12. The ship was on a 4-day Mexico cruise to Cozumel, and en-route to homeport Port Everglades, approx 20 ml / 32 km off the US coast (Marathon, Florida Keys archipelago).

01 May 2013Other Incidents

("big money" incident) On May 1, 2013, the renown international law firm “DLA Piper Global” chartered the whole ship for a business partner meeting at sea. The law company booked the ship for a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona. The roundtrip itinerary was a coastal voyage to Nice, France.

On this Royal Caribbean cruise ship charter, they spent over USD 3 million (charter fee), plus the extra costs for beverages, shore excursions and international flights for all the guests travelling to Spain.

DLA Piper Global Law Firm represents mostly large multinational corporations and high-technology companies. Statistics show DLA Piper made over USD 2,4 billion in 2012. The company has 100+ offices and 4200+ employees worldwide.

03 December 2012Coast Guard Medevacs

On December 3, 2012, a medical emergency (male passenger with a serious injury and needing advanced surgery) forced the ship to change the itinerary, skipping the Falmouth port (Jamaica). The ship’s course was also alternated so the injured man can be medevaced by USCG helicopter crew. Blood donations from passengers were also needed to assist him. Strong winds prevented the helicopter to land on the cruise ship's helipad, so he had to be airlifted in a basket.

20 November 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

On November 20, 2012, two passengers died ashore in Cozumel, when their sand buggy lost control and struck a guardrail. The other 2 passengers – the driver and his wife, suffered not life-threatening injuries. The dead couple (Jim Melillo and Susan Borges) was from Orlando, and well known for their charity work in Central Florida. They were also part of a 28-friends group who was on a Carnival Cruise Lines organized 6-hour dune buggy riding tour in Cozumel.

30 January 2012Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 30, 2012, a 47-year old female passenger died on the ship after missing a step and falling down a staircase. The woman was leaving the ship’s disco club “Catacombs”. When the incident happened, the ship was en-route to homeport Port Everglades on a 4-night roundtrip itinerary.

05 January 2011Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On January 5, 2011, a 21-year-old male passenger jumped overboard from Deck 12. His family reported he was missing at ~9 am. When the conducted onboard search didn't find the man, CCTV camera records were reviewed. The footage showed that he climbed over the railing and jumped at 3:25 am.

The incident happened when the ship was at sea and en-route to Belize, approx 6 ml / 10 km west off Turneffe (Maaga Caye). Belize Coast Guard assets carried out a search and rescue operation, but the body was never found.

21 January 2010Crew / Passenger Deaths

On January 21, 2010, a 37-year-old male passenger was found dead in his cabin, just before lunchtime. The cruise ship was booked under charter by a tour operator catering to gay travel.

28 October 2009Crew / Passenger Deaths

On October 28, 2009, a former Royal Caribbean Captain, the 57-year-old Tore Myhra (Norwegian-born), died in a Miami hospital of Legionella pneumophila after becoming ill on the cruise ship. He suffered from Legionnaire’s Disease (pneumonia) symptoms – respiratory difficulty, dry cough, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting. The man was travelling with his wife and daughter. The family filed in Florida a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean for damages, but the case was dismissed in 2012.

04 June 2009Crew / Passenger Deaths

On June 4, 2009, a 62-year-old female passenger died ashore while swimming with her husband near Royal Palms, Florida. Assisted by another passenger who was jet-skiing in the area, she was brought to shore. Police and paramedics found her unconscious. In a local hospital, she was pronounced dead.

May 2007Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

May-June 2007, CDC reported on voyage May 26 to Jun 2, a Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected 200 passengers (out of 3846, or 5,2%) and 12 crew (out of 1425, or 0,8%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) and were quarantined to their cabins.

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