Xu, 51 – Suicide Overboard, SuperStar Aquarius Passenger, September 19, 2010, Time of Death 9:00.
A male passenger, identified only as Mr. Xu, 51, labeled a high roller gambler, jumped overboard from Genting Hong Kong Star Cruises SuperStar Aquarius.
Reports say Xu jumped from the 13th deck around 0900 hours on Sunday, while the ship was in Hong Kong waters, south of the Kwo Chau islands off Sai Kung , after he played baccarat all night and lost a huge sum of money reported to be 5 million HKD ($642,675 USD).
Other passengers reported seeing Xu pacing on deck for about an hour, after the casino closed at 0800 hours, two hours before the ship was due in port, before he jumped overboard. The captain of the ship turned around to search for Xu and tragically he didn’t survive the fall, though his body was recovered about an hour later.
Marine police and the Fire Services Department dispatched rescuers to the area and the Government Flying Services sent a helicopter.
Once ashore, Xu was transferred to Kwai Chung Mortuary.
Superstar Aquarius left on Saturday, September 18 for a two-day voyage promoted as a gambling trip. The cruise ship continued onto Star Ferry Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui, arriving an hour later.
Superstar Aquarius holds 1,529 passengers in 765 cabins. Genting Group of Malaysia, incorporated in Bermuda on November 10, 1993 owns Star Cruises, the third-largest cruise line in the world, dominating the Asia-Pacific market. The company owns 50% of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and 100 % of Cruise Ferries.
Baccara is a casino card game that is played against the ‘house’ much like blackjack. Xu’s losses would have gone to the cruise line.
In casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, baccarat is usually played in special rooms separated from the main gaming floor, to provide extra privacy and security because of the high stakes often involved.
The game is played by the highest of high rollers, who may wager tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single hand with maximums of 10,000 USD per hand common. Because of the game’s attraction for wealthy players, a casino may win or lose millions of dollars a night on the game, and the house’s fortunes may even affect the bottom line of a corporation’s quarterly profit and loss.