Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein reports that a cruise passenger has gone overboard from the Carnival Glory.

According to his CruiseJunkie website:

"From a reader: RE: Carnival Glory, departing Miami, Florida 2015-03-07 16:00. Sometime in the early morning hours of 2015-03-08, en route to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas the passenger went overboard. Carnival verified passenger was onboard and reviewed ships security tapes (according to passenger). Passenger indicates they DID NOT make port call at Half Moon Cay. Carnival GloryThey continued to do ‘circles’ along with another Carnival ship, looking for passenger."

As I have said many times, it’s a shame that Carnival did not equip its cruise ships with the latest automatic man overboard system which can easily detect people going overboard and send a signal to the bridge in order to initiate immediate search and rescue operations. 

A Carnival brand, Holland America Line, touts that it is using thermal-activated MOB systems. See HAL Testing First-Ever Thermal Imaging Man Overboard System? 

I was recently intrigued to see a company called MARSS Mobtronic that is advertising a proven high-technology MOB system with a high probability rate. You can see an article discussing the technology here. 

Most cruise line are resisting compliance with the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security System’s (CVSSA) requirement for an automatic MOB, claiming that man overboard technology is not reliable. That’s patently a false and misleading argument. The technology clearly exists but the cruise industry simply does not wish to spend the money necessary to save lives. 

Carnival’s blogging Cruise Director John Heald confirms the man overboard, a 21 year old man, stating: ". . . . the ship is currently en route to the location where the individual was seen on the camera footage and will commence search and rescue operations upon arrival."  

It should be embarrassing for Carnival to have such antiquated old school technology where an officer has to search through the surveillance camera footage after-the-fact to find evidence of a person going overboard and then turns the ship around after it sailed for one or two hundred miles. 

Have a comment? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

March 10 2015 Update: The missing passenger is reportedly from Virginia Tech.

March 11 2015 Update: The young man’s name, Cameron Smook, has been released.  U.K.’s Daily Mail has published an article which can be reviewed here.  

March 12 2015 Update: Statement by Senator Richard Blmenthal:

BLUMENTHAL STATEMENT ON END OF SEARCH FOR STUDENT WHO FELL OVERBOARD CRUISE SHIP AND CRUISE INDUSTRY’S CONTINUED FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT STRONGER SAFETY MEASURES

(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement after the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they have suspended their search for a student who fell overboard while on a Carnival Cruise ship and was first reported missing Sunday morning.

“Today, as our thoughts and prayers with the family and friends of Cameron Smook, the stark tragic fact is that readily available life-saving technology could have spared him. Reprehensibly, five years after the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 was enacted, cruise lines still refuse to upgrade outdated video surveillance technology for the latest in automatic man overboard detection. The cruise industry should be ashamed and embarrassed by this failure to embrace this lifesaving technology. Such technology could have immediately detected Cameron’s fall and made sure valuable time was not wasted reviewing camera footage. In the last two months four individuals have fallen overboard from cruise ships. I will continue to fight for more effective commonsense safety and security measures, such as those included in the Cruise Passenger Protection Act, which I was proud to lead last Congress and intend to see strengthened and reintroduced this Congress.”

In 2013, Blumenthal introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act with Senator Rockefeller to address the serious incidents that continue to occur on cruise ships – a result of the industry’s failure to prioritize consumer awareness, safety, and security. The bill called for providing the over 20 million Americans who plan to take a cruise every year with critical information about the limited scope of their current consumer protections and would take steps to improve accountability in the industry.

March 12 2015 Update: A news station, WDBJ 7 (CBS) in Virginia interviewed me regarding this overboard. 

Photo Credit: Jordandkatz / Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

  • Toyotaz

    That’s why my next cruise is on the Nieuw Amsterdam.
    (Yes I know there were cabin steward issues on board, but God help the steward who tries to attack my wife, he would not be among the living for long)
    For the record, this will be my 11th HAL cruise, and have only had minimal issues on any of the previous trips.

  • Kevin Mullins

    The more I research this the more I believe this story is false. It is nowhere on the internet other than an FB page which is where the headline of this article comes from.

  • Christeen Rossington

    The Cruise Lines have a moral obligation to their passengers to have these systems installed.
    The argument isn’t about whether they deliberately or accidentally went over.

  • Theresa Kelly

    Do not blame the cruise line. When someone jumps overboard. It is not the cruise lines fault. So why should they spend all of the money to get the state of art equipment that might work. Maybe the company that wants to save lives should donate it.Or reduce the price.

  • Carol Robinson

    It is so tragic that such a thing could happen and that this young man is still missing. Knowing some of his extended family, it is hard to conceive what they must be going through at this time.

    How upsetting that if better technology were available, it was not installed. That defies logic. I never realized until today just how many people fall overboard every year.

  • Mike R

    You can “NOT” blame Carnival for this young man falling overboard, I’m sure alcohol was involved, and I’m sure that he was doing something that he shouldn’t had that led to him falling overboard.

    Where were this young mans friends, why didn’t his roommates report him missing sooner? The finger pointing can only go two directions, himself and toward his friends.

    As for the CVSSA system, I personally agree that each passenger ship should be required by “International” law to install this system, only because the Cruise Line Industry can not prevent individuals from doing something that they know is wrong and falling overboard, or falling off a mast, or other place on a ship that they should had been in or on.

    We’ll pray for the family, but please stop trying to say that if Carnival had installed this or that this would not had happened.

  • Sam

    unconfirmed report the “friends” did the responsible thing and led the person to his room for the night. Upon checking later he was no where to be found and then informed the ship crew.

  • Tyler

    My family is on this cruise so I know this is not a fake article, although I am very surprised it hasn’t been on the news at all. Reports I have heard from my family on board was that this was a 21 year old Virginia Tech student, on spring break with a large group of friends. He fell overboard from the balcony in his room around 2am.

  • S
  • Judith White

    This story is accurate as my granddaughter, a student at VT, is on this cruise now and we have been in communication with her. I am amazed that it took so long for this to reach the news! We’ve known about it for 2 days.

  • Rob

    I cant believe this – this is my close personal friend. He is a good generous kid that made everybody laugh, what a fucking tragic mistake fuck I hope this isnt real.

  • Daniel

    Does anyone know who it is? I have some friends on this cruise who fit the description…it would really help me out.

  • Suzanne

    This is definitely not a hoax, my 21 year old daughter is on this cruise with five of her friends from James Madison University. She sent me a text at 10 am Sunday morning telling me that someone went overboard & the cruise line was turning around to search for the missing person so they were not going to the Bahamas as previously scheduled. I feel awful for the student who went overboard, my sympathies go out to his friends and family.

  • LC

    I also have a family member on this cruise and the story is real.
    I had no idea there was a system to detect passengers falling
    overboard and am angered that cruise liners don’t utilize them
    no matter what the cost.

  • Kelly

    VT professor here – I’m sick to my stomach hearing about this. Many of my students are on several Carnival and RCI cruises. They’re good kids, and my heart and prayers go out to his family. We’re now waiting to hear a statement from Tech administration.

  • Judy

    This is a true story because it is my cousin’s son. The family and extended family are absolutely devastated. The coast guard has called off the search as of last night. I cannot say more as the family is in shock and extreme grief. He was caught on camera going off but I know no further details.

  • Pam

    This is not fake. My bosses and families are on this cruise and we were notified by them that they were all ok but that a man had gone overboard and they had to return to where it had happened.

  • SM

    As someone who is friends with the person who fell, I can tell you this is not a hoax. And it should be worth spending the money if it is to SAVE LIVES. Regardless of what happened, he is a person, and he made a mistake and fell. And there are many people who are crushed by hearing about this. It has hurt a lot of people and the Virginia Tech community. And in no way should his friends with him ever be blamed. They brought him to his room and reported him missing AS SOON as they noticed he was. It’s more than worth the money, and before you post an insensitive comment, realize that there Is a mother and a father who would do anything to find their son, and people who would do anything to have their friend back.

  • Judy

    This is my cousin’s son. They are devastated. I just heard yesterday. Most of the family is in Canada .. does anyone who has been there know what happened? The family is in shock obviously. A very, very tragic situation for a wonderful family and their son.

  • chels

    My family is on this cruise and they told me about it Sunday as well. Its very true. Very sad. I hope they end up finding him..

  • Kim

    It is sad and I feel terrible for the family. However, if anyone has been on a cruise ship, you should know it is nearly impossible to “fall” off a cruise ship. You can be thrown or jump maybe but not fall. The only way to fall would be to climb something you shouldn’t or be somewhere you aren’t supposed to be and maybe thrown in the event of a storm. Yes I have 3 grown children, well the youngest is 16, and would be horrified to get this call but I wouldn’t hold the cruiseline responsible unless videos showed me different.

  • Anne

    This story is true, my daughter is on the Carnival Glory. I am shocked at some of the comments posted. Can anyone imagine what we would feel if this were to happen to our child, sister, brother, or friend? My heart is sickened with sadness.

    This can happen to anyone and it is not about how it happened. It is the fact that it does happen and it happens way too often. Read the stories of past cruise ship passengers who have fallen overboard. The above statement that it be International law that all cruise ships are equipped with the newest MOB technology is absolutely correct. If other cruise ships have this technology all should choose to have this in place for the safety of every passenger on board. If it saves a life it is worth the cost! What can be done to make this law happen?

    My deepest sympathy and prayers are with the family and friends.

  • tinikini

    This is so sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. MOBS should be in place on every passenger and cargo ship, it is a big ocean out there and you need every second of time possible to rescue someone at sea, no matter how it happened.

    Maybe the student body of Virginia Tech could get something going on this law. There are tens of thousands of you to band to together and make a huge showing at a congressional hearing and/or send letters to every politician, at every level, in all the states, including the president. I am sure the media would pay attention to you. Just a thought. I wish you all peace as you finish your spring break and return back to school.

  • John Goldsmith

    Can you rent a car in the United States or Canada without seat belts? NO
    Can you board a passenger aircraft in the United States or Canada without safety equipment? NO
    There are laws that insist that ALL possible safety features are incorporated into the design and function of aircraft and vehicles. Why cannot a law be implemented to require ALL ocean going vessels boarding passengers in the United States or Canada to have the latest and greatest MOB technology in place. regardless of the country of registry?
    Politicians from both sides of the border love to pontificate about what should be done, but lack the balls to actually enforce the legislation.

  • Lynette henk

    I can promise you this is a true story. Our family just returned from the carnival glory today and this unfortunately did happen.

  • Julie August

    People are so quick to blame the victim.
    Well, this happened to my sister and alcohol was not involved. She was a 46 year old mother and nurse.
    She WAS, however, involved in an abusive relationship and was on the cruise with her abuser.
    She was never found.

  • Judy

    Aren’t the cruiselines legally supposed to have this equipment in order to detect someone going overboard?

    Disney does. Obviously the cruises do not want to spend the money to potentially save a person’s life.
    However, I don’t understand why if it is law that they are not obligated to use it.

    Regardless of the reason this happened every single person’s life matters regardless of whose “fault” it was.

    As for the criticism of his friends – please know your facts first before trying to lay blame. These kids did the right thing and this is not their fault.

  • Carrie

    We were on the cruise that this happened on… we feel so sad for the family and friends of Cameron. Our prayers go out to all of you. I am so sorry this happend. 🙁

  • DAVID gARLAND

    OUR THOUGHT AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS. WE WAS ON THE CARNAVAL GLORY AND ARE ALSO CANADIANS WE ARE UPSET KNOWING THIS COULD HAVE BEEN HELPED BY A MOB SYSTEM wE ARE MEMBERS OF tHE sALVATION aRMY WE HAVE ASKED OUR CHURCH TO KEEP THE FAMILY IN PRAYERS, IT TOOK US A FEW DAYS TO HANDEL THIS. ONE THING I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IS WHY THE SHIP DID NOT HOLD A ROOM FOR PRAYERS. THEY SAID THEY GAVE CONSELING TO HIS FRIENDS BUT OTHERS OF US WOULD HAVE LIKED A ROOM SET FOR OTHERS TO GATHER IN A GROUP FOR PRAYER.

  • YVONNE HINDI

    MY DEEPEST SYMPATHIES TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF CAMERON. I WAS A PASSENGER ON THIS GLORY CRUISE AND IT WAS VERY SAD FOR ALL PASSENGERS AND MANY PRAYERS WERE REQUESTED BY THE CAPITAN OF THE SHIP TO PASSESGERS OVER THE PA SYSTEM. DAILY MESSAGES WERE SENT TO EACH CABIN ON THE SHIP CONCERNING UPDATES, AND SPECIAL PLACES WERE SET UP FOR COUNSELING AND FOR PRIVACY TO THOSE AFFECTED.
    IN MY OPIONIONWHAT NO ONE HAS MEMTIONED IS WHAT I THINK WAS THE OBVIOUS PROBLEM. CELEBRATING OF SPRING BREAK FEVER WAS OUT OF CONTROL WITH ALL THE DRINKING AND DRUGS. DRUGS WERE CONFISCATED ON SHIP BEFORE WE SAILED WHICH CAUSED THE SHIP TO LEAVE 3 HOURS LATE WHILE WAITING FOR AUTHORITIES AND MORE THAT HALF OF THE YOUNG WERE BEYOND HALF LIT WHEN THEY GOT ON. YOUNG CHILDREN WITHOUT SUPERVISION THINK THEY CAN DRINK TIL THEY CAN FLY OR JUMP.