Why Are Passengers Disappearing From Cruise Ships?

Rebecca Coriam disappeared off the Wonder, a Disney cruise ship traveling between Los Angeles and Mexico, just one of approximately 200 people who have disappeared from cruise ships since the year 2000.

Rebecca Coriam, 24-years-old, had the job of a lifetime working as a nanny onboard the cruise ship Disney Wonder, and today her distraught parents are still wondering if maybe their daughter was murdered. Shocking figures reveal that as many as 200 people have disappeared while on cruise ships since the year 2000. So, where are they? How can cruise passengers simply vanish?

Perth Now reported that Ann and Mike Coriam from Chester don’t believe the results of the original investigation, that their daughter fell overboard during a storm. Sadly, Rebecca’s parents believe their beautiful daughter may have been murdered.

Questions are now being raised about the number of people that have disappeared from cruise ships, and whether a killer could be targeting passengers. Even more worrying are claims that Disney management may have tried to cover up her case fearing bad publicity.

Rebecca went missing on March 24, 2011, and two of her friends have now revealed that she may have been sexually assaulted. The government has reassured Rebecca’s parents’ that their claims will be investigated; however, because they reportedly received an out-of-court settlement from Disney, there are unable to comment any further.

Canadian expert Dr. Ross Klein is the author of Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Ship Industry. He is very concerned about the growing number of people disappearing on cruise ships. His own research suggests that a number of the 200 people who have disappeared from liners are drunken guests celebrating the last night of their trip and presumably toppling overboard.

Rebecca Coriam, however, was a crew member with over a year’s experience working with the Disney cruise’s Youth Team. The drunken factor has been ruled out for Rebecca, leaving open the possibility that she may have been attacked.

Of particular concern, though, is the investigation carried out into her death by only one Bahamian police officer; a shamble of an investigation littered with faults.

Private investigator Roy Ramm is a former Commander of Specialist Operations at Scotland Yard, and he believes that Rebecca’s disappearance is “a murder investigation until someone proves it’s not.” He added that, in his opinion, the original investigation was “very seriously flawed.”

Local M.P. Chris Matheson has done his own research into Rebecca’s disappearance. In his opinion, there’s been a whole wealth of contradictory evidence.

“I think a crime has been committed here and I want justice for my constituents.”

The Disney Wonder was Rebecca’s second cruise ship. After she went missing and her devastated parents were told the news that their daughter was lost overboard, they immediately flew out to L.A. where they were told that Rebecca had definitely fallen overboard.

However, Roy Ramm is not convinced.

“It would have taken a 100ft [30 meter] wave to wash her overboard from where they claim she must have gone. But we know the sea conditions at the time were good.”

A friend of Rebecca’s who saw her at around 2 a.m. said that the so-called “investigation” was a farce. That person has still not been interviewed by police.

But, the Bahamas police concluded that Rebecca’s death was “not suspicious.”

Even though it is believed that Disney made an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with the family, Ramm believes the family still deserve answers and that there should have been an inquest.

“A coroner would call witnesses who could say what they saw that morning and give the family some kind of closure. For this young woman to have been discarded like flotsam or jetsam is a disgrace.”

The Sun is asking the question: Is someone getting away with murder? With so many people missing from cruise liners, the question must be asked.

It was six years ago that Rebecca Coriam, a philosophy graduate who was full of life and promise for the future, disappeared without explanation off the coast of Mexico, and Ann and Mike Coriam pray every day that today will be the day they finally learn the truth about what happened to their daughter.

The Daily Mail is asking: Did Rebecca jump, was she pushed, or was she washed overboard by a freak storm?

It was only last week that the Coriams discovered that their daughter may have been the victim of a sex attack before she went missing. Two of Rebecca’s onboard friends made the distressing revelation.

The potential suspects, a man and a woman, are known, and government Police Minister Brandon Lewis has reassured the family that these claims will be investigated. Whilst this is incredibly hard news for Rebecca’s parents to hear, it’s also a relief because this is the first piece of concrete news they’ve had in a long time. In fact, they’ve been so frustrated with efforts so far that they’ve enlisted the assistance of a private investigation team to help them unearth the truth.

But, as mentioned, Rebecca’s case is not an isolated one, and many families who’ve lost loved ones are left not knowing if their loved ones are dead or alive.

John Halford was a 63-year-old father of three from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. On the last night of his Red Sea cruise, he left his packed suitcase outside his cabin door and went for a drink at a cocktail bar. He was never seen again.


His wife Ruth does not believe he committed suicide. Their eldest daughter Lucy summed up their heartbreaking predicament.

“One day he was here, the next he wasn’t. We don’t know whether our father is alive or dead.”

Perhaps what many cruise ship passengers don’t realize is that, when you pass through international waters, you’re effectively traveling to a country where there are no police.

You’re no longer protected by your own police force once you’ve sailed 12 miles away from the shoreline. In fact, you’re not even covered by the nearest country to you. Under Maritime Law, any crime committed is the responsibility of whichever nation the cruise ship has been registered with. So, for tax reasons, ships tend to register under “flags of convenience” in states such as Bermuda, Libya, or Panama. In Rebecca’s case, the Disney Wonder was one of 80 cruise liners registered with the Bahamas.

It’s not easy for police forces from developing countries to deal with their own workload in addition to handling crimes which can take place at sea thousands of miles away. Crimes like rape, theft, and even murder committed on board cruise liners are usually “cleaned up,” with evidence disposed of and witnesses disembarked long before under-resourced police officers finally arrive.

Added to that is the fact that, until such time as a person has been reported missing, the cruise ship continues moving away from where the incident occurred, thus widening the search area and making it almost impossible to recover a body.

In Rebecca’s case, one Bahamian police officer was flown 1,500 miles in a Disney private jet to investigate her disappearance, which meant that just one police officer was required to interview almost 1,000 crew members and 2,400 passengers onboard. It is understood that the police officer concerned, Paul Rolle, came without any forensic equipment and that he interviewed just a handful of crew members.

[Featured Image by New SIGHT Photography/Shutterstock]