U.S. Coast Guard searches for man missing from Louisiana cruise ship

The New Orleans Coast Guard is searching a 200-mile area for a man who went missing Monday from a Louisiana cruise ship bound for Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The 8th District Coast Guard in New Orleans received a report that a 28-year-old male passenger was missing from the Carnival Glory cruise ship Monday afternoon. Two aircraft were launched to conduct searches, following the ship’s track toward Jamaica.

The passenger’s family identified the missing man as Tyler Barnett from Houma, Louisiana, who is the father of twin girls. Coast Guard Third Class Petty Officer Anthony Randisi confirmed the passenger’s name.

Security teams onboard the ship began looking for Barnett after being alerted by his family on Monday morning, said Matt Lupoli, a spokesperson for the Carnival Cruise Line.

Tyler Barnett’s sister was also on the cruise as well as 13 other relatives. Destiny Barnett said she feels trapped, because her vacation is over but she doesn’t want to leave without knowing what happened.

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

Randisi said Barnett was last seen on security cameras just after midnight Monday, after the Carnival Glory left its port in New Orleans, but before it was scheduled to dock in Montego Bay on Wednesday.

Lupoli said the Carnival Glory was cleared by the Coast Guard to proceed to Montego Bay. 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 is calling for a thorough search of individual cabins before the ship docks in Jamaica, she said that at this point, only cabins on Tyler Barnett’s floor had been searched.

She watched the surveillance footage of her brother on Tuesday morning and where he could be seen at the casino just after midnight the night he went missing. His card was last used at his cabin door. His cellphone was in his room and his bed was not slept in.

Last month, 26-year-old Kevin McGrath went missing on a different Carnival Cruise Line ship bound for the Bahamas. He was also not detected by the cruise line’s surveillance systems.

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.

“It just seems odd to me that there’s no camera, as many cameras as they say they have,” said Mason. “I had paced the floor and cried all day yesterday. I just want answers and I’m holding out for hope.”

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

In a post on X, the Coast Guard said search efforts were temporarily paused on 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 it.

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 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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