Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2023
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U.S. Coast Guard searches for man missing from Louisiana cruise ship

Surveillance video on a Carnival cruise ship from which a 28-year-old man went missing shows him jumping from a deck early Monday, a spokesman for the cruise line said Tuesday.

The Coast Guard is searching for Tyler Barnett, who went missing Monday morning from the Carnival Glory bound for Montego Bay, Jamaica. The father of twin girls from Houma, Louisiana, was reported missing that afternoon, and the Coast Guard sent two aircraft to conduct searches following the ship’s track toward Jamaica, it had said.

Matt Lupoli, senior manager of public relations for Carnival, said video appears to show the missing passenger jumping overboard.

“After multiple reviews of the shipboard surveillance video, it appears that the guest reported missing on Monday jumped from the ship’s Deck 4 at approximately 1:40 a.m. on Monday,” he said.

“He can be seen climbing on a lifeboat and jumping from there,” Lupoli said.

The Coast Guard has been informed of the footage and has been able to narrow its search effort, Petty Officer Second Class Jose Hernandez said. The search had previously been over a 200-mile area.

The more specific location also means that the Coast Guard has been able to launch an HC-130 plane and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, he said. The search is 30 miles southwest of the Southwest Pass, Louisiana, the Coast Guard said.

The Carnival Glory left Louisiana for Montego Bay and is due to arrive there Wednesday, the cruise line said.

Tyler Barnett’s sister, Destiny Barnett, as well as 13 other relatives, was also on the cruise.

“It makes you feel crazy to be stuck on a ship where everyone else is having a good time,” Destiny Barnett said. “It was supposed to be a vacation, but for us, it’s hell.”

The cruise is also scheduled to stop at Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel, Mexico, before returning to New Orleans on Nov. 19, according to its itinerary.

Destiny Barnett said he her brother’s card was last used at his cabin door. His cellphone was in his room and his bed was not slept in.

Barnett’s grandmother, Dirlean Tate Mason, is not on the cruise but is anxiously waiting for news. She said Tyler Barnett works on the river barges in Louisiana and does not think he would try to take his own life. “He loves his girls,” she added.

“I just want answers and I’m holding out for hope,” Mason said.

The Coast Guard issued broadcasts to mariners in the Gulf of Mexico notifying them that a person had potentially fallen overboard, a spokesman said.

In a post on the social media platform X, the Coast Guard said search efforts were temporarily paused Monday night due to dangerous weather conditions, including rough seas and strong winds. They said they would launch additional search assets as soon as the conditions allowed.

According to data from cruise industry consultancy firm GP Wild, there were 212 man overboard incidents on cruise ships between 2009 and 2019. Forty-eight of those passengers were rescued.

In April of this year, Coast Guard crews suspended a search for an Australian passenger who fell off a cruise on the coast of Hawaii after a three day search yielded no results.

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