Feds Probe Apparent Overdose Death Of 'Storm Chasers' Star

This week’s death of a reality-show star has become the subject of an FBI investigation.

US Weekly confirmed that Joel Taylor, who appeared on The Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers,” passed away while traveling on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. According to TMZ, the meteorologist was the victim of a drug overdose.

Taylor allegedly took an excessive amount of GHB, a prescription medication for narcolepsy sufferers, during a party Monday night. A cruise passenger said the actor lost consciousness on the ship’s dance floor, and needed the help of two people to return to his room.

The Daily Mail reported that on Tuesday, Taylor was “found unresponsive” in his cabin.

GHB is often described as a “club drug” or “date rape drug.” TMZ claimed that cocaine and ecstasy also were used on the cruise.

Authorities arrested several passengers and removed them from the ship, which began its seven-day trip in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 20.

“We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the 38-year-old male guest from the United States who died while onboard Harmony of the Seas,” the cruise line announced Wednesday in a written statement.

“As is our standard procedure, law enforcement was notified and responded to the ship when it arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday. A member of our Care Team is providing support and assistance to his family.”

AOL reported that Reed Timmer, one of Taylor’s former co-stars, tweeted on Wednesday: “RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor."

"I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase," he said.

"I’ll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend.”

The Discovery Channel told US Weekly: “We are so saddened to hear about Joel’s passing. We will always remember him fondly as an incredible meteorologist and driver of ‘The Dominator.’"

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

The FBI is looking into the details of Taylor’s death. Agents want to know how the drugs got onto the ship, and who was responsible.

According to Royal Caribbean International’s website, the cruise line bans illegal substances such as drugs, weapons, certain chemicals, “and other items that could interfere with the safe operation of the ship or the safe and secure environment of our guests and crew.” A Royal Caribbean spokesman told the Daily Mail that the firm has a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding illegal drugs.

Olivia Newton-John and the disc-jockey pair Galantis performed on the cruise. The ship’s captain, Johnny Faevelen, posted numerous pictures of the entertainers Tuesday night on Twitter.

The star of “Grease” sang the movie’s famous song, “Summer Nights,” with the help of the four-member backup group “Pink Ladies.”

Faevelen wrote: “What a lovely lady! Great job, Olivia.”

Galantis provided electronic dance music. Sadly, the performances will not be what the guests remember most about their trip, which the captain called “the biggest gay cruise on Earth.”

Atlantis Events, which advertises itself as “the leader in all-gay vacations’ and “the world's largest gay and lesbian speciality vacation company,” chartered the cruise. On Wednesday afternoon, the firm removed information about the “all-gay Caribbean Cruise on Harmony of the Seas” from its website.

Source: AOL, Daily Mail
Photo: Inside Edition

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