Searches suspended for 21-year-old Virginia Tech student who fell off cruise ship

Posted at 1:58 PM, Mar 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-11 15:17:46-04

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended searches for a 21-year-old Virginia Tech student who fell off a Carnival cruise ship Sunday near the Bahamas.

Cameron Smook was on Spring Break from Virginia Tech. He was a senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering.

His family released the following statement on Wednesday:

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

Cameron Smook

On Sunday morning, March 8 we were notified by Carnival Cruise Line officials that Cameron had accidently 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 Smook Family

Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands also released a statement:

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