In Memory of Carnival’s Jose Sandoval Opazo

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Read almost any article about the accident in which a Carnival cruise employee lost his life, and the thing you are least likely to walk away remembering is that the dead man’s name was Jose Sandoval Opazo. Why? Because the vast majority of the coverage has managed to make it sound as if the man who recorded the incident is the true victim.

15 Minutes of Fame

Report after report has chronicled how one particular cruiser and his family, whose name we have opted not to further publicize, were terribly traumatized by the accident in which Opazo was crushed to death. But the fact of the matter is that the family was not so shaken by the sight of “blood coming down like a sheet” that they averted their eyes or rushed from the scene. Instead, one of them whipped out a cellphone in order to capture the moment.

In discussing the sequence of events with the media, said passenger pointed out that crew members attempted to usher passengers away from the sight. In fact, in the video he shared with media outlets, a voice can be heard urging people to leave the scene.

“I couldn’t wait to get off that ship,” the passenger insisted… apparently so that he could share his trauma — and the accompanying videotape — with the world. Fortunately for the outlets covering Opazo’s tragic passing, the videographer happened to be a walking sound byte, comparing what he’d witnessed to a scene from The Shining and dubbing it “the nightmare after Christmas,” a quippy reference to the Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

There was no debate necessary as to whether or not to post the video in question. Anyone wanting to see them either has or can do a quick Google search. And rather than contribute to the passenger in questions 15 minutes of fame, we would rather shine the spotlight where it truly belongs: On the Carnival Ecstasy employee whose life was lost that day.

In Memory Of Jose Opazo

Jose Sandoval Opazo was a technician aboard the ship, and he hailed from Liguaria, Italy. “Jose was an inspiration to his colleagues,” John Heald, Carnival’s senior cruise director, wrote on his Facebook page, “and was tremendously respected and admired… He will be greatly missed and on behalf of everyone at Carnival Cruise Line, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”

While Heald did not directly address the video in question, he did add, “For the tremendous number of you who have expressed your views on the importance of human decency and respecting the privacy of Jose and his family, we thank you… and couldn’t agree more. We lost one of our own, someone who many of you may have casually walked past when you were on the ship and seen a man simply doing his job.”

We here at Cruise Radio add our voices to those expressing their sympathy to Mr. Ospazo’s loved ones during this difficult time.

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