Search suspended for Virginia Tech student who fell off Carnival cruise ship

(WSLS 10) – Virginia Tech officials announced Wednesday afternoon the identity of the 21-year-old student who fell off a Carnival Cruise ship.  The student has been identified as Cameron Smook of Glen Allen, Virginia, a senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering in the College of Engineering.

According to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios, crews suspended their search for Smook at sunset Tuesday. Multiple Coast Guard crews were searching by air and sea since Sunday when they were first notified.

Rios says crews searched 6,500 square nautical miles starting 6 miles south of Abaco Island, Bahamas.

After contacting next of kin, the search was suspended.

An official with the cruise line released a statement saying the 21-year-old was reported missing from the Carnival Glory ship Sunday morning. Review of camera footage confirmed the man fell overboard.

The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue operation from Sunday to Tuesday, March 10. Another cruise ship, the Carnival Ecstasy, deviated course at the company’s direction to help in the search up until Monday evening in collaboration with USCG, along with other vessels in the area.

Carnival Glory also returned to the location and participated for a period of time in the search. The company’s CareTeam provided support to the guest’s traveling companions and family.

In the statement, Carnival officials said, “We extend our heartfelt sympathy and concern for the family and loved ones of our missing guest.”

Carnival Glory is homeported in Miami and was on the first leg of a seven-day Caribbean cruise that departed Saturday.

The following statement is from the family of Cameron Smook: 

Our son, Cameron Smook, and several of his friends departed from Miami on Saturday, March 7 aboard the Carnival Glory for a Caribbean cruise.

On Sunday morning, March 8 we were notified by Carnival Cruise Line officials that Cameron had accidentally fallen overboard during the night and was missing at sea.

The United States Coast Guard was notified and began search and rescue efforts. After conducting an extensive air and sea search these efforts were suspended last evening pending further developments. We thank the Coast Guard for their outstanding service and for keeping us informed throughout this ordeal.

Cameron, 21 years of age, is a graduate of Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia, and was scheduled to graduate from Virginia Tech this spring with a degree in Mining Engineering. He thoroughly enjoyed his experiences at Virginia Tech, had just accepted an employment offer, and was looking forward to a very bright future.

Our family sincerely appreciates your continued prayers and support at this most difficult time. We also request privacy and ask not to be contacted by members of the media.

Memorial service details will be shared at a later date.

The following statement on Cameron Smook may be attributed to Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands:

“The entire Virginia Tech community extends our deepest condolences and sympathies to Cameron’s family and friends at this moment of tragedy and grief,” said Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands.

“My heart also goes out to our students and faculty who also feel tremendous sorrow at this loss. I know this is a strong and supportive community, and encourage us all to turn to one another for support and solace.”

Statement from Zachary Tozier, President at VTSnow:

“Cameron was an energetic member of our club and a close friend to many of us. He was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off of his back. VTSnow and its members are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

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