The captain of the ship which Discovery Channel storm chaser Joel Taylor died on board of a suspected drug overdose was all smiles just hours after the tragedy as he posed up with Grease star Olivia Newton John who was performing on the all-gay party cruise.
It seemed to be business as usual on board the liner as Captain Johnny Faevelen shared a number of photos to his Twitter from Tuesday evening and Wednesday with the Grease star. Revelers also shared pictures to Instagram of them continuing to party away.
So far, there is no word on Taylor’s official cause of death, but TMZ reported on Wednesday afternoon that according to law enforcement sources, Taylor had been taking controlled substances, which may have led to his death.
Taylor, 38, was found unresponsive in his cabin on board the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Harmony of the Seas on Tuesday, after the ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A person claiming to be a passenger on the boat told TMZ that illegal narcotics were in ample supply on the cruise, including Ecstasy and cocaine, and that Taylor was allegedly among those indulging in those substances.
The passenger claimed that the 38-year-old Discovery Channel reality star had ingested so much of the addictive narcolepsy medication GHB – often referred to as ‘club drug’ or ‘date rape drug’ – that he passed out on the dance floor and had to be carried back to his cabin by two other people.
The ship has parties in the day and evening and it is currently unclear which party he had been attending.
Olivia Newton-John and DJ duo Galantis performed for the passengers on Tuesday evening.
Captain Faevelen shared photos to his Twitter on Wednesday showing him posing with the grease star and her husband. He captioned it: ‘Who’s driving the #Harmonyoftheseas today? #Megastar #OliviaNewtonJohn and her husband John. Great job Olivia ;-)’
A clip from Tuesday night showed Newton-John in a bedazzled jacket, backed by a quartet of Pink Ladies, performing the iconic song from Grease Summer Nights.
The captain also shared a post to twitter Wednesday afternoon showing that the ship had arrived in St Maarten.
Another video shared on social media from the concert showed a massive crowd of people swaying to Galantis’ thumping electronic dance music beats.
The ship was charted by a private company called Atlantis Events, which bills itself as ‘the leader in all-gay vacations’ and ‘the world’s largest gay and lesbian specialty vacation company,’ according to its site.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the page on Atlantis’ website advertising the ‘all-gay Caribbean Cruise on Harmony of the Seas’ running from January 20-27 has been taken down and replaced with a ‘Error 404’ message.
The cruise set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 20 for a seven-day cruise to Eastern Caribbean, with stops along the way in Labadee, Haiti, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St Maarten, before returning to Florida.
Meanwhile, devastated friends and fans have been paying tribute to the much-loved Storm Chaser star. His co-star Reed Timmer, who followed tornadoes with him across America, announced the shocking news on Twitter this morning.
He uploaded photographs of Taylor and wrote: ‘RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor.
‘I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. Taylor’s (above) co-star Reed Timmer (pictured together with him right) revealed the devastating news on Twitter on Wednesday morning
Heartbroken fans also reacted to the news of his passing and thanked the pair for inspiring them to study the weather.
Riley Carlton tweeted: ‘I grew up watching Joel Taylor and Reed Timmer on Discovery, they are a major reason I want to study meteorology.
‘It hurts my heart that Joel passed away.’
Team Western OK Chaser, a group based in Oklahoma, wrote on Facebook: ‘Our community of Elk City and the Storm Chasing community lost a great guy today. Joel Taylor was truly an inspiration to myself and many who knew him.
Timmer uploaded this photograph on Twitter and said he ‘wished they could have one more storm chase’ together
‘He was one of the most level headed chasers on the roads and truly a classy guy outside of chasing.
‘He didn’t chase for the glory he chased because he had a true passion for storms. ‘
‘In the last few years he’d load up with his dad and go chase and not even take a camera.
‘Our hearts are hurting for his mom Tracy and dad Jimmy along with his brother and sister and their children. Please know you are in our prayers. RIP Joel.’
A later post said his death was not related to chasing storms.
It read: ‘ Many people have asked how Joel passed away. For the sake of no false information and repeated reply’s to the question. This is my reply. There is no answer at this time. The medical professionals are trying to determine the cause.’
Mr Taylor’s last Facebook post on 15 January gave no sign of any health problems. He wrote: ‘My first niece arrived this morning!’
Mr Taylor met Mr Timmer while studying meteorology after he became fascinated by severe storms and tornadoes.
Storm Chasers was first aired on 2007 and follows a team who attempt to intercept tornadoes in America’s Tornado Alley.