A Carnival cruise passenger went overboard, and his mother says she found out from a cousin, not the company

  • The Coast Guard is searching for a 28-year-old man who went missing from a Carnival cruise ship Monday.

  • The passenger's mother told Business Insider she learned about his disappearance from a relative.

  • Carnival said Tuesday that surveillance footage appeared to show a man jumping off the ship. Family say he slipped.

A missing 28-year-old cruise passenger on the Carnival Glory is believed to have gone overboard on Monday, and the Coast Guard is searching the waters near New Orleans to find him.

While the passenger's mom told Business Insider she was hopeful he was still alive, she said that she was worried he might not have survived. She also said she found out from family — not the cruise line — that her son was missing.

Tyler Barnett of Houma, Louisiana, was first reported missing Monday morning by a family member, just a day after leaving New Orleans for a weeklong cruise to Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico, a statement from Carnival Cruise Line said.

In a Tuesday evening update, a spokesperson for Carnival said that the ship's security team had reviewed surveillance footage and that the missing passenger appeared to jump from the ship's Deck 4 at about 1:40 a.m. on Monday.

"He can be seen climbing on a lifeboat and jumping from there," the spokesperson said.

It was only on Tuesday that the ship's security team was informed the missing passenger might have been wearing a different shirt, which allowed crew members to search video from the ship more accurately, the spokesperson said.

Carnival said it had informed the Coast Guard and the man's family of the development. The cruise line didn't release the man's name — though the man's mother, Elisha Reid, told BI in an earlier interview that her son, Barnett, was the missing passenger.

But Reid told Business Insider that the family had seen the footage and it shows Barnett didn't jump, but slipped.

"They hit a wave and he went down off the lifeboat," she said. "Tyler was my only son, my firstborn. He was my everything in life! He was the air I breathed. He was the beat of my heart. I feel as if my heart no longer beats."

Barnett was seen on security footage at around midnight on Monday, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard launched two aircraft to try to find Barnett in a 200-mile area near where the ship sailed into the Gulf of Mexico.

The cruise line said teams were helping Barnett's family members who were still on board and that the US Coast Guard cleared Carnival Glory to carry on with its cruise.

Barnett's mother, Reid, said Carnival initially told her daughter — who is on the ship — there was no footage of what happened to her son.

All cruise ships are required to have 42-inch guard rails and man-overboard imaging under the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. But BI previously reported that many ships had yet to implement newer technology that automatically detects when a person goes overboard by using thermal cameras and radars that promptly alert crew members.

The time between someone going overboard and the cruise ship launching a search-and-rescue mission can often be the difference between life and death.

Carnival did not immediately respond to BI's question about whether the Carnival Glory employed any such tech.

Reid told BI her son's key card was used to enter the ship's casino just after midnight and then to enter his room 12 minutes later.

A map highlighting a stretch of the ocean off the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard launched two aircraft to try to find Barnett in a 200-mile area near where the ship sailed into the Gulf of Mexico.US Coast Guard

Reid, who isn't on board, said Barnett was on the cruise with his sister and uncle when he went missing. She said she didn't find out her son was missing until a cousin messaged her, unaware that she hadn't gotten the news yet.

"I have my moments where I break, but I'm keeping the faith," Reid said on Tuesday, before seeing the footage. "What's important to me is to know where he's at and to have him home, whether he's alive or not, I want his body to be home."

Reid's daughter, Destiny, is still on board the ship, she said. Reid said Barnett's sister told her she last saw her brother at about 11:40 p.m. when he told her he was going to his room.

Reid said her daughter was very close to Barnett and had been texting her updates periodically from the ship.

"She's trying her best," Reid said. "She's not going to leave that ship without her brother."

A Carnival spokesperson told BI in response to Reid's comments about the cruise line: "Our Care Team will continue to do all they can to support the family in this difficult time."

While the chances of falling off a cruise ship are extremely low, at least nine other people have gone overboard this year, as BI previously reported. Only two of those survived the fall.

Reid said her son was a great father to his two twin girls, who she said now are orphans since their mom had earlier died.

"They were everything to him," Reid told BI. He was very protective."

Barnett grew up around the water and "absolutely breathed" being on the river and the sea, working on a tugboat.

"My only peace is Tyler loved the water and to fish," Reid said. "How ironic that he is where he always loved to be."

November 14, 2023: This story has been updated to include a statement from Carnival Cruise Line saying video surveillance appeared to show the missing passenger jumping from the ship. 

November 15, 2023: This story has been updated to include new comments from Tyler Barnett's mother.

Read the original article on Insider