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Family asks for prayers after Deep Run graduate Cameron Smook falls off Carnival cruise ship

Posted at 12:38 PM, Mar 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-11 18:22:09-04

GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- The family of Deep Run High School graduate Cameron Smook confirmed he was the 21-year-old Virginia Tech student who fell off a Carnival cruise ship Sunday near the Bahamas. The U.S. Coast Guard search for Smook, a senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering in the College of Engineering, was suspended Tuesday night.

Cameron Smook of Glen Allen, Virginia, a senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering in the College of Engineering (PHOTO: Virginia Tech)

Cameron Smook of Glen Allen, Virginia, a senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering in the College of Engineering (PHOTO: Virginia Tech)

"Our son, Cameron Smook, and several of his friends departed from Miami on Saturday, March 7 aboard the Carnival Glory for a Caribbean cruise. 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," a statement from the Smook family read. "The United States Coast Guard was notified and began search and rescue efforts. After conducting an extensive air and sea search these 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."

Smook was scheduled to graduate from Virginia Tech this spring.

"Our family sincerely appreciates your continued prayers and support at this most difficult time," the statement continued.

Memorial service details have not yet been released.

"You never expect someone you spend so much time with to just pass away so suddenly especially when u didn't have the chance that day to tell them how you feel," Rebecca Hamlin, Smook's former girlfriend said. 

Virginia Tech student Tyler Wiltshire telling CBS 6 "Hokies lost an amazing friend on Sunday and our prayers go out to his friends and family."

Virginia Tech's President issued this statement: "The entire Virginia Tech community extends our deepest condolences and sympathies to Cameron's family and friends at this moment of tragedy and grief," said Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands.  

Friends of Cameron who would like their remembrances added to this story can send them here.