Another cruise guest has somehow disappeared from a Carnival Cruise Line ship during a Caribbean cruise. Twenty-eight year old Tyler Barnett of Houma, Louisiana was last seen on the Carnival Glory cruise ship around 11:40 p.m. Sunday night. Carnival performed an onboard search around 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning after his whereabouts could not be determined that morning. Carnival then waited until over five and one-half hours to notify the U.S. Coast Guard that Mr. McGrath could not be located on the ship.
The Coast Guard station in New Orleans “received a report around 12:40 p.m. from Carnival Cruise Line that they had an unaccounted-for passenger,” according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard then dispatched aircraft to search for the missing man.
This is not the first time that Carnival has inexplicably lost a passenger during a cruise to the Caribbean.
In early September of this year, twenty-six year old Kevin McGrath, who was traveling with his family, did not disembark from the Carnival Conquest when it arrived back at the Port of Miami.
Like the most recent case, the ship’s CCTV did not indicate anyone falling overboard during the cruise, nor did the shipboard cameras provide an explanation where the passenger may have gone. Carnival claims that it conducted a complete search of the ship. Like all other Carnival cruise ships, the Carnival Conquest is not equipped with an automatic man overboard (MOB) system which would have instantly reported someone going over the railing, recorded the event, and then tracked the overboard passenger in the water.
The McGrath family started a petition titled “Where is Kevin McGrath” via Change.org to demand answers from Carnival, which you can read here.
Regarding this latest overboard passenger, who cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein calculates is the 386th person to go overboard from a cruise ship in the last 25 years, the Coast Guard launched a HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew and an HC-130 Super Hercules aircrew to conduct searches of a roughly 200-mile area following the initial path of the cruise ship’s voyage.
The considerable expense of deploying aircraft and helicopters to search for missing cruise passengers and crew members is borne exclusively by the U.S. government. There is no expense to the cruise line, even when they negligently fail to install state-of-the-art MOB systems which would have alerted them that a person went overboard and then track the person in the water even at night.
Neither the Carnival Glory nor the Carnival Conquest cruise ships are equipped with life-saving automatic MOB systems.
Mr. Barnett’s family members suggest that there is no indication that the father of twin daughters would have jumped overboard. Other than last being seen shortly before midnight, there are few clues to explain what might have happened. The UnfilteredwithKiran website quotes his family as saying: “We last saw him at 11:40 (Sunday night), then he left saying he was going to his room. He didn’t go straight there though. His ID showed being swiped in the casino at 12:15 a.m., then it shows being used again to get into his room at 12:27 a.m. but his bed was never slept in.”
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8:00 P.M. November 14, 2023 Update:
In an update, Carnival claims through a spokesperson that video evidence shows the man declared missing from the Carnival Glory allegedly “jumped from the ship’s deck.”
According to a Carnival statement, “ship security officials spotted the man on the ship’s surveillance video. They say he climbed onto a lifeboat and jumped from the ship’s Deck 4 Monday around 1:40 a.m.”
To try and explain why it delayed a day and one-half in releasing such information, Carnival said:
“Only on Tuesday were we advised of the possibility of him wearing a different shirt, which allowed our security team to change the profile of the guest as we searched onboard video.”
This belated explanation appears nonsensical. Why would Carnival delay informing the Coast Guard that a man went overboard because he was wearing a different shirt?
10:45 P.M. November 14, 2023 Update:
Mr. Barnett’s mother, Elisha Reid, disputed Carnival’s claim that he jumped, as the cruise line belatedly claims. Several local newspapers and television outlets, including FOX 8, report that following the new PR statement from Carnival, Ms. Reid later told Fox 8 that she believes “the footage shows he slipped off one of the lifeboats because he (had) been drinking.”
Carnival, with a history of environmental crimes which led to fines totalling $61,000,000, has been also convicted of felony perjury counts after it lied to the Coast Guard and U.S. attorneys. So its wicked corporate culture and propensity to lie are well established. It is outrageous that corporate felon Carnival would publicly disseminate its self-serving interpretation of CCTV images after it withheld the video from the grieving family from viewing.
Business Insider previously reported that Carnival would not share the CCTV images in question with the family and that the mother found out that her son was missing from the ship from a cousin, not the company. Its PR stunt of now releasing this questionable information is, in my view, just pouring salt into the wound.
5:00 P.M. November 21, 2023 Update: The Independent newspaper reports on Carnival’s claims where it belatedly flip-flops between saying that “there were no CCTV tapes” vs. the CCTV allegedly shows Mr. Barnett allegedly “jumping from a lifeboat.” Also, Carnival made this outlandish claim to the public rather that communicating privately to Mr. Barnett’s mother.