Cameron Smook. (Smook Family/Courtesy of Virginia Tech) Cameron Smook. (Smook Family/Courtesy of Virginia Tech)

Cameron Smook, a Virginia Tech senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering, died last weekend after falling overboard a cruise ship, the school announced Wednesday.

The 21-year-old student from Glen Allen, Va., who had been expecting to graduate from the College of Engineering in May, had left Saturday with friends from Miami aboard the Carnival Glory for a Caribbean cruise. His family asked for privacy and issued a statement through the Virginia Tech Web site:

On Sunday morning, March 8, we were notified by Carnival Cruise Line officials that Cameron had accidentally fallen overboard during the night and was missing at sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified and began search and rescue efforts. After conducting an extensive air and sea search, those efforts were suspended last evening pending further developments. We thank the Coast Guard for their outstanding service and for keeping us informed throughout this ordeal.

Cameron, 21 years of age, is a graduate of Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Virginia, and was scheduled to graduate from Virginia Tech this spring with a degree in Mining Engineering. He thoroughly enjoyed his experiences at Virginia Tech, had just accepted an employment offer, and was looking forward to a very bright future.

Our family sincerely appreciates your continued prayers and support at this most difficult time.”

 

 

Fellow students were shocked and saddened by the sudden loss.

“Cameron was an energetic member of our club and a close friend to many of us,” Zachary Tozier, the president of the ski and snowboarding club VTSnow, wrote in an e-mail. “He was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off of his back. VTSnow and its members are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Timothy Sands, the president of Virginia Tech, issued the following statement, and the school emphasized that counseling services were available.

“The entire Virginia Tech community extends our deepest condolences and sympathies to Cameron’s family and friends at this moment of tragedy and grief. My heart also goes out to our students and faculty who also feel tremendous sorrow at this loss. I know this is a strong and supportive community, and encourage us all to turn to one another for support and solace.”