Raymond Walter Owens Passenger Dive Excursion Death – Raymond Walter Owens, 65, from Montgomery, Alabama passed away during a Norwegian Cruise Lines dive excursion, which he booked aboard Norwegian Spirit for Thursday, October 27, 2011. Owens drowned while he was diving somewhere near the Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize.
According to Belize sources, “he started experiencing breathing problems and went down. He didn’t resurface, and by the time fellow divers were able to get his head above the surface, he had already drowned.”
Owens is survived by his wife, Frances Victoria Baxley; a daughter, Kristy Caradori; a sister, Patricia Louise Eller; three brothers, Steven Drew Owens, Craig Allen Owens and Willis Godfrey Owens Jr., all from North Carolina.
Mr. Owens is also survived by 3 brothers-in-law, 3 sisters-in-law, 1 niece, 4 nephews, 6 great-nieces, and 1 great-nephew.
Mr. Owens was a retired State of Alabama employee. He worked most of his career for the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
His Memorial Service was held on Monday, November 7, 2011, at 2:00 pm, at Alabama Heritage Funeral Home.
The 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit entered a 13-day dry dock on September 25, 2011 in Mobile, Alabama to receive renovations including outfitting the entire ship for WiFi, laying new carpet, installing flatscreen televisions and upgrading the Stardust Theater and the ship’s action station restaurant, Raffles Court. Norwegian Spirit then sailed to New Orleans, Louisiana where she sailed year-round sailings from New Orleans with ports of call including Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize.