Royal Caribbean Calls Off Brilliance Search

July 8, 2005
The search is off for a 26-year-old man, traveling on a honeymoon cruise on Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas, who disappeared last week. George Allen Smith IV of Greenwich, Connecticut had been reported missing after the ship had arrived in Kusadasi, Turkey. He and his wife had boarded Brilliance of the Seas, which is sailing in the Mediterranean, in Barcelona.

In an initial statement issued by Royal Caribbean soon after the incident, the company says that "evidence onboard indicated the guest might have accidentally fallen overboard." At the time, Brilliance of the Seas was about midway through its 12-night cruise; it returned to Barcelona Monday.

Late last week, Royal Caribbean released additional details. In another statement, the company said: "On the morning of July 5, shortly after the ship arrived in Kusadasi, Turkey, another guest noticed an unusual substance on an awning over a lifeboat and notified the ship's security officers. The chief officer investigated the substance on the awning and determined that it could be blood. The chief officer then dispatched security personnel to check all of the ship's cabins above the awning. During the search, one cabin was found to be empty. A series of onboard announcements paging the guest and his wife were made, and a thorough search of the ship was conducted. The guest's spouse, who was located during the search, said her husband was not in their cabin when she awoke, so she assumed he was with friends also onboard. The spouse was interviewed by Turkish police and has returned to the United States."

The ultimately hapless search was conducted by the Greek and Turkish coast guards. Royal Caribbean also notified the F.B.I., the American Embassy, the Turkish Police and the Bahamas Maritime Authority (as the ship is registered in the Bahamas).

Royal Caribbean continues to say that the "circumstances surrounding his disappearance remain unclear."