Kenneth Brenton(Brent)Smith, 24 – Suicide Overboard, Freedom Of The Seas Passenger, June 18, 2007, Time of Death is unknown.
Freedom Of The Seas left the port of Miami on Sunday June 17, 2007. At 0145 hours in the morning on June 18, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Freedom Of The Seas off Eleuthera Island, in the Bahamas, friends and family saw Kenneth Brenton(Brent)Smith, 24, from North Carolina, resting on the balcony of his stateroom. Family reported him missing at 0830 hours.
Smith was on the cruise with his parents, Kenneth and Lori Smith; two siblings, Matthew and Destiny; and a family friend.
The ship was enroute to Puerto Rico, and was sailing near Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas when it is thought Smith went overboard.
The cruise line said a number of announcements were made aboard the ship throughout the day, and searches had been conducted, but Smith was not found.
Coast Guard officials said a pair of sandals belonging to Smith were on the deck of the cruise ship.
The ship was due in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Tuesday, but turned around to conduct a search of the ocean.
The Coast Guard temporarily stopped its air search Monday evening but planned to resume its efforts Tuesday morning, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said. The U.S. Coast Guard is searching a 130-mile area near the Bahamas between the Abaco Islands and San Salvador. A helicopter, along with a C-130 Long Range surveillance aircraft are being used.
The FBI and the Bahamian Maritime Authority have been alerted as well, said Michael Sheehan, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The cruise line is collecting and reviewing onboard records, videos and statements, and securing the man’s stateroom, according to a statement by the cruise line.
UPDATE: JUNE 19, 2007 3:34pm CST
Freedom Of The Seas has left the search and resumed the cruise to Puerto Rico. The USCG has resumed the search for the missing man, after calling off the search last night due to darkness. The delay means no call at St. Thomas. It will arrive a day late in San Juan, then on to St. Maarten on Thursday, and then after two sea days at sea back to Miami on Sunday.