Search Continues for Missing Cruise Passenger in Mexico

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In the 10 days since cruise passenger Brad Solomon disappeared during a port call in Cozumel, his family have teamed up with local military and rescuers to pull out all the stops to bring him home safely.

Rescue teams are now shifting strategies in their search for the 66-year-old passenger, who suffers from a form of dementia and may be confused in his unfamiliar surroundings. 

Missing Passenger Might Be In The Jungles Of Cozumel 

Brad Solomon was celebrating his birthday with his wife, Mimi Hyer Solomon, by taking a family cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas. Their 7-night voyage to Mexico was meant to be their last big vacation, as Brad Solomon suffers from frontotemporal dementia, a progressive disease that causes cognitive difficulties, such as difficulties communicating. 

Unfortunately, the couple’s dream trip turned into a nightmare when Brad went missing shortly after disembarking in Cozumel with Mimi on April 3, 2024. His worried wife notified local police immediately and the family – along with local military and rescue teams, as well as representatives from Royal Caribbean – have been searching for the 66-year-old man ever since. 

The couple’s adult daughter, Savannah Miller, has also joined in the search and has been working to keep her dad’s name in the press by posting updates on her social media accounts. She hopes that her posts will help spread awareness to bring him home safely. 

Initially, the family suspected that their father and husband has been staying hydrated and using the bathrooms at local churches, but they weren’t sure if he had access to food.

Edmond Bradley Solomon
Edmond Bradley Solomon

While the locals have been extremely helpful with reporting possible sightings of Mr. Solomon, the family hasn’t yet been able to catch up to him, potentially because he has a habit of walking quickly and with purpose, even when he is flustered or confused, and likely would not accept help from a stranger. 

Miller asked that if anyone does spot her father, they trail him from a distance and call local authorities to report the sighting. 

“He has a generally calm or apathetic attitude, and will probably refuse help if offered. Especially from a stranger. This affect, along with his quick walking pace, makes him seem confident or focused, like he knows where he is going and is walking with conviction. But he is not. He is lost and scared. He cannot show or process emotions like a healthy person would,” Miller posted on Facebook on April 7. 

“Unfamiliar people or situations are intimidating to him. He does not know how to respond and will avoid instead. So, he will likely visit the same areas repeatedly,” added Miller.

While the search for the missing passenger has largely focused on Cozumel’s more populated city areas, the family and rescue teams are shifting tactics because Brad hasn’t been captured on surveillance cameras since the afternoon of Wednesday, April 10.

Cozumel Island, Mexico
Cozumel Island, Mexico (Photo Credit: MarioBaltazar / Shutterstock)

As Cozumel is only about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide (the whole island can be driven in an hour or less), it’s entirely possible Brad may have made his way to another part of the Mexican island. The new theory is that a kind citizen may be caring for him in the ejido areas of the jungle, which is a communally owned agricultural sector.

The local military and civilian search and rescue leaders are focusing efforts in the jungle now. Since he hasn’t been seen on camera since Wednesday afternoon, it’s possible that he is being cared for by local, more rural Cozumel citizen in ejido areas of the jungle. I know that not a single person on this island would have mal intent upon approaching him,” Miller wrote in her latest Facebook post on Thursday, April 11. 

Hopefully, Brad will be reunited with his loved ones very soon. In the meantime, anyone who would like to support the family from home can share his image and missing persons fliers on social media or donate to the GoFundMe, which has already raised over $27,000 (USD) to bring Brad home.

A Cruise Gone Wrong

Brad and Mimi Solomon, who both hail from South Carolina, were well into their 7-night Western Caribbean sailing on the world’s largest cruise ship, which embarked from Miami, Florida, on March 30, 2024, when Brad went missing. 

It seemed only fitting to celebrate a birthday as big as 66 on the gigantic Icon of the Seas, which can accommodate a whopping 7,600 passengers per sailing, along with 2,350 crew members. The massive vessel, which weighs in at 248,663-gross tons, is still brand-new, only just entering service earlier this year on January 27, 2024.

Icon of the Seas Size Comparison
Icon of the Seas Size Comparison (Photo Credit: Multiverse)

Icon of the Seas had already called on Costa Maya, Riviera Maya, and Roatan Island, Honduras, before Brad disappeared in Cozumel on April 3. The ship had one more port call at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in the Bahamas, before returning to Miami on April 6, 2024.

Of course, the Solomons didn’t get to experience Perfect Day at CocoCay. Instead, Brad went missing shortly after arriving in Cozumel and the search began.

After disembarking around 1:30 p.m. local time, the Solomons stopped to use the bathroom before they were going to explore the port. When Mimi came outside again, she couldn’t find Brad. After waiting a few minutes, another family checked the bathroom only to discover he was not there. Immediately, Mimi sounded the alarm. 

Read Also: Man Overboard and Missing From Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

The family theorizes that Brad likely exited the restroom first, and became confused when he didn’t see his wife. He likely wandered off into the busy cruise terminal to try to find her. 

The family also took safety precautions to keep track of Brad, such as by having him wear an air tag, but the air tag’s range is minimal and it’s unknown if he is still wearing the device. 

Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the Solomon family during this distressing time, and we hope that he is found safe and sound very soon.

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