Tragic Infant Death on Cruise Ship Leads to Crew Member’s Arrest

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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.

The woman, appearing bewildered and potentially shocked about the circumstance, was initially seen at a nearby hospital emergency room before being transferred to the Sollicciano prison on the southwestern fringes of Florence.

She is charged with voluntary homicide, and her two cabin mates were also apprehended and given similar charges. There is no evidence of intentional harm in relation to the infant’s death, but all three women would have had to consciously hide the baby’s presence. It remains to be discovered whether their actions intentionally resulted in the baby’s death or if neglect was the cause.

It may be that the women hid the pregnancy and birth out of fear they might lose their employment. Given that cruise ship medical facilities typically can’t offer specialized prenatal or newborn care, crew members might have to leave the ship if found to be pregnant. This is akin to the

rules that prohibit pregnant guests from embarking.

In accordance with

Silversea’s own contract with travelers, it clearly states, “pregnant women who have reached the 24th week of pregnancy at any point during the cruise should be ineligible to sail on the ship.”

Cruise ship contracts often include stipulations regarding the termination or suspension of a contract if a crew member is found to be pregnant. This could potentially lead to losses in wages or even rescind potential bonuses. It isn’t clear whether these contractual clauses played any part in this particular case.

Also Read: Coast Guard Conducts long distance evacuation of Pregnant Woman from Disney Cruise Ship

The exact cause of the infant’s death has not been solidly determined. However, a comprehensive autopsy is in the works. Currently, it is speculated that the child might have died due to neglect, caused by being left alone without proper care or feeding for an extended period while the mother carried out her duties on the ship. The autopsy will also investigate if the infant was born prematurely or if there were other complications at play.

As of now, there have been no findings of any external injuries on the infant like suffocation, bruising, cuts, or strangulation.

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 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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