July 22, 2002 – A stowaway aboard the luxury cruise ship Adventure of the Seas died Saturday while the ship was in port at St. Thomas after he had been tranquilized in an effort to restrain him when he became violent, police said Monday.
O'Neil Persaud, 31, of Guyana, died Saturday afternoon while the cruise ship was docked at Havensight, according to Deputy Police Chief Theodore Carty.
Officials with Royal Caribbean International, which owns the ship, have been cooperating with local police detectives and the FBI to determine the cause of death, Lynn Martenstein, a spokeswoman for the cruise line said.
Security officers on the vessel took Persaud to a holding cell on board the ship on Saturday after they found that he was a stowaway, Carty said. Persaud became violent in the cell, and security officers tried to restrain him, he said.
"They say he was very aggressive," Carty said. "He was tearing up the cell."
A medical officer on board tranquilized Persaud, and he died shortly afterward, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Annette Raimer.
Persaud's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office on St. Thomas where an autopsy is being conducted to learn the cause of death, she said. The autopsy results are expected later this week.
The death was the second aboard a ship calling at St. Thomas in less than a week. On July 22, police were called to the Carnival Destiny, where the body of body of a man identified as Robert Earl Johnson, 55, was found. A release from the Police Department said the death was apparently a suicide and that the man's body was found hanged in a shower stall.
An autopsy also was scheduled on St. Thomas in that case.
Persaud's death also was the second aboard the Adventure of the Seas while the ship was berthed at St. Thomas. Last Dec. 1, a female passenger fell from a stateroom balcony on an interior deck and was killed instantly when she landed several decks below. Police were called to investigate but said the following day that foul play was not suspected.
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