The investigation into the death of famed Storm Chaser Joel Taylor continues. The FBI looked into the gay party cruise that claimed Taylor’s life, but referred the case back to local authorities in Puerto Rico where the ship was docked after Taylor’s death. Taylor, known best for his role on the Discovery Channel series “Storm Chaser”, was found unresponsive on the dance floor on board the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas. The ship was chartered by Atlantis Events, which advertises its “unbelievable gay parties” on cruises with Royal Caribbean.
According to Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News, Taylor’s death is the third drug-related death on an Atlantis Events / Royal Caribbean gay cruise since 2009.
The New York Daily news reports that passengers aboard the Harmony of the Seas “witnessed Taylor taking drugs, including ecstasy and cocaine.” TMZ also reported that party drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine and GHB, were in ample supply on board the ship, and several passengers had been arrested and taken off Harmony of the Seas before it set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 20 for a seven-day cruise. “Joel had consumed enough GHB on the dance floor Tuesday that he was rendered unconscious on the dance floor by two people and brought back to his room.”
Porn star couple Jesse Jackman and Dirk Caber were also aboard the gay cruise; Caber also collapsed unconscious and was rushed to the hospital on the night of Taylor’s death. However, authorities report that Caber’s hospitalization was due to pneumonia and not a drug overdose. Social media has discussed rumors of others becoming ill and even dying on board the Harmony of the Seas, but Atlantis Events released a statement that said Taylor was the only confirmed death for this particular cruise.
According to Royal Caribbean International’s official website, guests are prohibited from bringing on board illegal drugs and substances, along with weapons, hookhas, dangerous chemicals “and other items that could interfere with the safe operation or the ship of the safe and secure environment of our guests and crew.” The section of the Royal Caribbean website that lists the prohibited items goes on to say: ‘These and other similar items will be confiscated upon being found. Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, flammable liquids, explosives, and dangerous chemicals will not be returned.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises issued a statement on Taylor’s death saying, “We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the 38-year-old male guest from the United States who died while onboard Harmony of the Seas. As is our standard procedure, law enforcement was notified and responded to the ship when it arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday, January 23. A member of our Care Team is providing support and assistance to his family.” Atlantis Events also released a statement: “We were saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Taylor this week as he was a loyal guest and member of our community. His loss will be felt by the many who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
The Discovery Channel TV show “Storm Chasers” described Taylor’s passion for weather on their show biography online: “Always fascinated by these phenomena, he attended the University of Oklahoma to study meteorology. There, he met someone who shared his passion for severe weather and storm chasing, Reed Timmer. The two have intercepted countless tornadoes, and with Joel’s keen knowledge of the back roads of the Great Plains, he has long been the trusted driver of Reed’s TVN team.”