Joel Taylor, of Discovery Channel’s defunct show “Storm Chasers,” reportedly died from a suspected overdose on a cruise ship Tuesday. He was 38.
TMZ reported Taylor was on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas when he was discovered dead in his cabin. A cruise official told TMZ law enforcement officials were notified of Taylor's death when they docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"It appears the death could be an overdose and Joel Taylor was consuming controlled substances," law enforcement sources told TMZ.
Guests on the cruise told TMZ a few people were arrested for drug possession at the port in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before the boat departed.
On the night of Taylor's death, "Grease" star Olivia Newton-John and Swedish DJ duo Galantis performed on the ship.
Taylor studied meteorology at the University of Oklahoma before becoming a driver with his friend and “Storm Chasers” co-star Reed Timmer and chasing storms in Oklahoma's Tornado Alley. Taylor starred on “Storm Chasers” from 2008 until it was canceled in 2012. The show followed a group of scientists as they “chased” tornadoes in order to study the storm’s path and behavior.
Taylor’s friends and co-stars paid tribute to the storm chaser on social media Tuesday.
“RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor. I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend,” Timmer wrote. “We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I’ll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend.”
Mike Olbinski also remembered his friend Taylor.
“I was lucky enough to meet Joel a few years ago at Reed’s wedding. He was so kind to me and we got to hang out for a bit during those few days,” Olbinski tweeted. “I snapped this photo of him and that just seemed like who he was. A huge smile. RIP Joel Taylor…you will be so missed.”
Team Western Oklahoma Chaser, a group Taylor was a part of, also paid tribute to the young storm chaser. The post has since been taken down.
“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,” the group stated. “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.”