According to a report in Newsweek, “an officer on a Celebrity Cruises ship reportedly took his own life last week during his final voyage with the company before his contract ended.
Anton Ilichev from Ukraine—who had been working as a suite manager on the Celebrity Millennium—was found dead in his cabin on December 6, just one day before the vessel arrived at its final destination in Singapore. The ship was on a 14-night tour of Southeast Asia which had departed from Hong Kong.”
Cruise ship workers face many mental and physical challenges as they work aboard these vessels. Unfortunately, suicides rates among crew members are higher than what they should be.
Long hours, few vacation days, monotonous work and being at sea and away from their family and comfort zones can heavily impact the mental state of these workers – restaurant staff, cleaning crews, room stewards and dozens of other positions. Suicides by hanging and jumping overboard are not uncommon. Nor are crew member work related deaths which make the headlines on a regular basis.
The mental health support system is notoriously lacking aboard the cruise ships. As Jim Walker, an oft-referenced Miami a maritime lawyer said, “Cruise lines like Celebrity Cruises, invest many hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars on building increasingly huge cruise ships each year,” he wrote. “They need to begin investing in their crew members’ well-being at sea.”