Royal Caribbean cruise line bans woman who climbed on balcony railing for selfie

Royal Caribbean said in a statement that the woman and her companion were removed from the ship and had been banned for life. PHOTO: ROYALCARIBBEAN.COM

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - A photograph taken last week on a Caribbean cruise ship quickly gained widespread attention, but it was not of a pink-sand beach, a zip-lining adventure or an onboard sky-diving simulator.

It was of a woman standing on a balcony railing of her stateroom on one of the world's largest cruise ships - posing for a selfie.

Another passenger aboard the ship, Allure of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ocean liner that is the size of an aircraft carrier, had taken the photo of the woman while they were en route to Labadee, Haiti, and shared it with cruise ship employees.

Royal Caribbean did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday (Oct 19), but it said in a statement to other news outlets that the woman and her companion were removed from the ship and had been banned for life.

"Earlier this week on the Allure of the Seas, a guest was observed recklessly and dangerously posing for a photo by standing on her stateroom balcony railing with the help of her companion," the statement said. "Security was notified and the guests were later debarked in Falmouth, Jamaica, as a result of their actions and are now banned for life from sailing with Royal Caribbean."

Royal Caribbean did not identify the woman or her companion. It was unclear what deck she was on.

More than 250 people worldwide have been killed taking selfies since 2011, according to the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.

"'No selfie zones' areas should be declared across tourist areas, especially places such as water bodies, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings to decrease the incidence of selfie-related deaths," the journal said in a 2018 article.

Last week's episode is emblematic of the selfie culture, in which some people have died trying to get the ultimate photo.

Instagram is cluttered with death-defying selfies, from legs dangling off the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, where a 26-year-old college student from India died in January, to daredevils showing off their yoga poses at the Trolltunga in Norway.

In 2015, a woman was injured by a bison at Yellowstone Park after getting too close for a selfie. In April, Ms Andrea Norton, a 20-year-old college student, died when she fell from a cliff in the Ozarks as she tried to take a selfie. That same month, Ms Sydney Monfries, 22, a Fordham University senior, plunged to her death while taking a Snapchat video from the school's bell tower.

The passenger who reported the episode aboard Allure of the Seas, Mr Peter Blosic, told CNN that it was foolish to take such a risk.

"Not knowing what her intentions were, I alerted the crew," Mr Blosic said. "If I said nothing, and she was going to jump, that would be horrible."

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