Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Royal Caribbean"s Oasis of the Seas in port.
(Photo: Lauren Bassart)
I
recently spent a vacation on a cruise that ended up all over the news.
I
struggled quite a bit internally for a few days on whether I wanted to write
this article or not.
I decided to put my thoughts out there and maybe it would
help me cope.
I was enjoying seven days in the beautiful blue Caribbean
waters, working on indulging in some food and drinks, enjoying a nice relaxing
trip (or two) to the spa, and reading in the sun"s warm rays by the pool.
I
was thoroughly relaxed and close to finding my zen when all of a sudden, like
a thief in the night, my tranquility was swept out to sea.If you have been
following the news in the past few days, you will know that a young man
recently ended his life by jumping overboard on the Oasis of the Seas.
As fate
would have it, this was the same vessel that my husband and I chose for our
anniversary vacation.
At around 1 a.m.
on Friday November 6, 2015, our giant
ship came to a halt, then started doing concentric circular rounds near where
we stopped.
I awoke a few hours later to see two little yellow rescue boats in
the water zooming back and forth right beside our room"s balcony.
On a ship
where your rooms are all connected and everyone is out on their balconies, it
didn"t take very long at all to get the low down on what was occurring before
my eyes.Whispers started from balcony to balcony like wildfire.
It seems a man
climbed over his balcony and onto the roof of a lifeboat after a domestic
dispute.
The ship"s security saw this happening on camera and headed down to
his room; there was a bit of drama, and he went overboard.
After absorbing
what was occurring around us and being hit with the weight of it all we
decided we needed to step out and get some fresh air.The view off the side of
the Oasis of the Seas.
(Photo: Lauren Bassart)
My husband, Kenin, and I went
out for a walk around the ship to find some coffee and maybe a bit of
breakfast.
The whispers continued as everyone was speculating.
The ship had
lost its previous joyous atmosphere.
It seemed a dark cloud had settled over
everyone"s vacationing spirits.
We were sad and shaken by the fact that
someone went overboard.
It had been hours of our ship"s crew searching the
waters, the Coast Guard showed up after a few hours to aid in this search,
still…the young man was not found.Related: Shocking Video Shows Man
Going Overboard on Cruise Ship
At that time, we didn"t know if he was pushed,
if he was drunk and thought it would be fun to climb over his balcony, if he
was thrown over, or some combination of these things.
There was a great amount
of uncertainty.
This is where my internal struggles took hold.
I was quickly
informed that the newspapers in Miami already printed the story of "Man
Overboard."News and social media already spread footage of the guy going over
from videos taken by passengers who all shared the same side of the ship that
my husband and I were currently roomed in.
While saddened for this man and his
family, this is not what shook me to my core.
What bothered me the most, and
made me fear for us as a society and our integrity as human beings, were the
folks with their video cameras and phones.
The folks who stood by at 4
a.m.
snapping photos and taking video while a man struggled to end his own
life and others struggled to save it.
Word spread quickly across our vessel
that these videos were already up on all forms of social media, and many
passengers could be heard saying, "Hey you can watch and see exactly what
happened."Related: What Happens When Someone Falls Overboard on a
Cruise?
Even now, with video footage, no one is exactly sure what took place,
but this is what I know for certain: A man went overboard, he was never
recovered, more than likely he perished, and it happened a few feet from where
I was sleeping.
I refused to watch the footage to save my own sanity.The
trouble that I am having is not with the facts.
It"s with other people"s
reaction to tragedy and mourning.
I don"t want to be bombarded by images or
videos of someone"s death.
I could have chosen to be out there with the rest
of my shipmates, snapping photos of rescue boats and Coast Guard planes, but I
made a conscious choice not to do this.
Someone died.
This is a tragedy.
How
he died was not of very much importance to me, I did not know him personally,
but that does not negate the fact that he died.
I thought the respectful thing
to do would be to say a few words of send-off in my mind, hope that he didn"t
suffer, briefly mourn his death, and only hope that his family would
eventually recover from this incident.I didn"t need evidence of my presence
onboard, I didn"t need to share this tragedy with anyone not currently by my
side, I didn"t need videos to increase my blog or social media views.
I chose
to act with respect and dignity.
I am not a reporter.
I was just a regular
person enjoying a vacation when tragedy struck.More and more, I see folks
getting upset with media outlets for the way they are reporting and how they
act when dealing with such tragedies.
Somehow, when we are faced with a
similar situation, we react in the same way that traditional media would.
We
record first and think later.
Because of the lack of restraint and respect,
this young man"s family will now be left with a lasting image that they can
actually see (not envision) of his death.
They have photos that they can
access and videos that they can play on repeat to see if they can figure out
exactly what happened.
They will forever be haunted by their last memory of
him, a dark video taken by some gawking bystander with no back story, just a
plummeting death into the deep, dark abyss.I chose not to be a cause of
someone else"s pain.I want no part of someone pulling up one of my photos or
videos and feeling pain or despair or helplessness.
I am sharing this article,
not to change the way others react to tragedy, though I do hope it will make
some people stop and think before they act.
I am sharing this so that later on
in my life, I can look back and have self-respect.
I am sharing this so that
the next time I am faced with some form of catastrophe I will once again act
with dignity so that I can keep my self-respect.My heart goes out to the
family of Bernardo Elbaz.
May he rest in peace and may his family somehow, at
some point in time, find solace.This post originally ran on The Constant
Rambler.
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas in port.
(Photo: Lauren Bassart) I
recently spent a vacation on a cruise that ended up all over the news.
I
struggled quite a bit internally for a few days on whether I wanted to write
this article or not.
I decided to put my thoughts out there and maybe it would
help me cope..I didn"t need evidence of my presence onboard, I didn"t need to
share this tragedy with anyone not currently by my side, I didn"t need videos
to increase my blog or social media views.
I chose to act with respect and
dignity.
I am not a reporter.
I was just a regular person enjoying a vacation
when tragedy struck.More and more, I see folks getting upset with media
outlets for the way they are reporting and how they act when dealing with such
tragedies.
Somehow, when we are faced with a similar situation, we react in
the same way that traditional media would.
We record first and think
later.
Because of the lack of restraint and respect, this young man"s family
will now be left with a lasting image that they can actually see (not
envision) of his death.
They have photos that they can access and videos that
they can play on repeat to see if they can figure out exactly what
happened.
They will forever be haunted by their last memory of him, a dark
video taken by some gawking bystander with no back story, just a plummeting
death into the deep, dark abyss.I chose not to be a cause of someone else"s
pain.I want no part of someone pulling up one of my photos or videos and
feeling pain or despair or helplessness.
I am sharing this article, not to
change the way others react to tragedy, though I do hope it will make some
people stop and think before they act.
I am sharing this so that later on in
my life, I can look back and have self-respect.
I am sharing this so that the
next time I am faced with some form of catastrophe I will once again act with
dignity so that I can keep my self-respect.My heart goes out to the family of
Bernardo Elbaz.
May he rest in peace and may his family somehow, at some point
in time, find solace.This post originally ran on The Constant Rambler.
Royal
Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas in port.
(Photo: Lauren Bassart) I recently
spent a vacation on a cruise that ended up all over the news.
I struggled
quite a bit internally for a few days on whether I wanted to write this
article or not.
I decided to put my thoughts out there and maybe it would help
me cope.

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