Breaking News Emails
Discovery Channel’s popular storm chaser Joel Taylor died while aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the police there told NBC News on Wednesday.
Taylor was vacationing aboard the Harmony of the Seas when police found his body in his cabin, officials said. He was 38.
Police were called to the ship when it arrived in San Juan on Tuesday, Owen Torres, manager of global corporate communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises said in an email.
“We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends,” Torres said.
The cause of death was not released, and police said they did not suspect foul play.
San Juan police said it had turned the investigation over to federal agents since the death seemed to have occurred in U.S. waters.
An autopsy was to be conducted at the Instituto de Ciencias Forenses, said Karixia Ortiz, the press officer of the institute’s department of public security.
Reed Timmer, Taylor’s co-star on Discovery’s “Storm Chasers,” was the first to publicly announce his partner’s death in a tweet from his verified account. He also posted on Facebook. Both posts withheld the details of Taylor’s death.
“I can tell you that Joel was at a very happy time in his life, and we've been brainstorming non-stop this winter about chasing plans this spring,” Timmer said in his Facebook post. “He has the biggest heart of anyone I know, and has always been there for me through thick and thin.”
In the hours before Taylor’s final location was confirmed, fans on the internet considered the death “mysterious.” Dozens of posts on social media and articles from various news outlets, including The Daily Mail and USA Today, pointed to the fact that Taylor’s father had said that his son’s untimely death was not related to his job.
The Discovery Channel tweeted about Taylor, but a representative did not respond to a request for a comment.