The Greenwich Time newspaper reports that the family of cruise passenger George Smith, who vanished from Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, wrote a letter to the cruise line’s CEO, Richard D. Fain, on Christmas Eve seeking information about what happened aboard the cruise ship which lead to their son going overboard.
In July of 2005, Mr. Smith was on his honeymoon with his newlywed bride, Jennifer Hagel, when he disappeared from the cruise ship. Although the cruise line quickly labeled the incident an accident, there was blood found in his cabin as well as on an awning below his cabin. Four men who were last seen with Mr. Smith were suspected of either being involved in or knowledgeable of the circumstances surrounding his death.
Last year, there was a bombshell revelation that shortly after the incident, Royal Caribbean had possession of a video taken by one of the four men which revealed one of the other men saying "we gave that guy a paragliding lesson without a parachute." Our firm represented Mr. Smith’s wife, and the cruise line kept this videotape secret from us. The question arises what other information the cruise line has not revealed to Mr. Smith’s grieving family.
The Smith family noted that it has been 2,729 days since their son and brother went overboard in the Aegean Sea as the cruise ship headed to Turkey. The newspaper quotes from the Smith family’s letter to CEO Fain:
"After seven and one half years, we still do not know who murdered George on your cruise liner. His murderer(s) remain at large. Your cruise ship, the floating crime scene, continues to hop from port to port carrying happy-go-lucky passengers seemingly unaware of the atrocities that were inflicted upon our son and brother on that very boat."
"Does Royal Caribbean have information which it did not provide under the terms of its settlement with our family that would finally get justice for George and allow George’s soul to rest in peace?"
The George Smith case captivated the nation’s attention in 2005 when it became obvious that there was a lot more to the story than what Royal Caribbean wanted the public to believe that this was a passenger simply falling overboard. A number of Congressional hearings were scheduled which brought focus on the problem of crimes and unsolved disappearances on the high seas.
If you want to learn more about this case, consider reading our series of articles about Mr. Smith’s disappearance.