Crew Member Arrested After Baby Dies on Cruise Ship

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A 28-year-old Filipina crew member aboard Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper has been arrested after a newborn baby was found deceased in the woman’s cabin on May 19, 2024. The baby boy was reportedly born onboard the ship on approximately May 17, but the woman had concealed both the pregnancy and the birth.

The woman’s name has not been released, nor has her position aboard the ship been confirmed. Rai News reports that she performed either cooking or cleaning duties onboard the luxury cruise ship.

The arrest occurred while the ship was near the province of Grosseto, Italy, east of the island of Corsica. Silver Whisper is currently sailing a 9-night, one-way sailing between Rome, Italy and Nice, France, and was docked in Porto Santo Stefano in Grosseto on May 19. The ship was reportedly at sea when the baby’s body was discovered, but authorities were notified immediately.

Silver Whisper Cruise Ship
Silver Whisper Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Vytautas Kielaitis)

The woman, who appeared confused and possibly in shock about the situation, was first examined at a local hospital’s emergency room before being transferred to the Sollicciano prison on the southwestern outskirts of Florence.

She has been charged with voluntary homicide, and her two cabin roommates were also arrested and similarly charged. While there is no indication of deliberate foul play with the infant’s death, all three women would have had to actively conceal the baby’s existence. It is unknown whether their actions could have deliberately contributed to the baby’s death or if he died of neglect.

It is possible the women concealed the pregnancy and birth out of fear of losing their jobs. Because cruise ship medical facilities are generally unable to provide specialized prenatal or newborn care, crew members may have to leave the ship if pregnant. This is similar to policies preventing pregnant guests from setting sail.

Silversea’s own contract with travelers states “pregnant women who have entered the 24th week of pregnancy at any time during the cruise should not be eligible to sail on the ship.”

Cruise ship contracts may include clauses about termination or suspension of a contract if a crew member becomes pregnant. This may result in lost wages or forfeited bonuses, if applicable. It is not known whether such contract clauses may have played a role in this incident.

Read Also: Coast Guard Makes Long Distance Evacuation of Pregnant Woman From Disney Cruise Ship

The cause of the infant’s death has not been determined, but a full autopsy will be performed. At the moment, the presumption is that the child may have died due to neglect as he was left alone without proper feeding or care for hours while the woman performed her onboard duties. The autopsy will also determine whether the child may have been born premature or if there were other complications.

Thus far, there has been no sign of external trauma to the infant, such as suffocation, bruising, lacerations, or strangulation.

Did Anyone Else Know About the Pregnancy?

Preliminary interviews with other Silver Whisper crew members indicate no one else had knowledge of the infant or the woman’s pregnancy. Likewise, photos taken of the woman in recent weeks do not appear to show a visible pregnancy, though crew uniforms could conceal physical changes.

Silversea Funnel
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

Silversea Cruises has not commented on this incident, but is expected to fully cooperate with authorities throughout the investigation and any possible criminal charges.

Silver Whisper has continued on its itinerary without significant delay. The 28,258-gross-ton ship can welcome 388 passengers per sailing, and is also home to 300 international crew members. The vessel is currently offering a range of Mediterranean itineraries, with departures available from Venice, Rome, Barcelona, Athens, and other top homeports.

Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the crew of Silver Whisper and family members of all involved in this shocking incident.

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