Virginia Tech mourns the loss of another student. Cameron Smook, a Virginia Tech mining and engineering major, reportedly fell overboard from the Carnival Glory, early Sunday morning. The fall of the 21-year-old student took place five miles south of Abaco Island, Bahamas.
According to the Coast Guard’s News Release, more than 3,600 square nautical miles were covered, during three days of search efforts. The Carnival Glory, Carnival Ecstasy, as well as the Royal Bahamian Defense force assisted in the search, along with the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane and the Coast Guard Cutter.
Captain Todd Coggeshall, who is the Chief of Response Management for the Coast Guard’s 7th District, issued a statement sending thoughts and prayers to the family of the 21-year-old Virginia Tech student. He said that they were unable to locate Smook, in spite of the extensive search.
In turn, the family of Smook issued a statement of their own. They thanked the Coast Guard for their service and for keeping them informed throughout the search.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Virginia Tech students and staff have had to mourn a student. The nation remembers the horrific tragedy that occurred on April 16, 2007, when Virgina Tech student Seung Hui Cho took the lives of 32 students and teachers. Cho took his own life after his shooting rampage.
The gunman was born in 1984, in South Korea. He became a permanent United States resident in 1992, and was a Virginia Tech English major. In 2005, after making suicidal comments to his roommates, Cho was ordered to seek outpatient care by a judge.
In apparent premeditation, Cho ordered a Walther P-22 online and took possession of the pistol on February 9th. In March, he purchased a 9mm Glock along with 50 rounds of ammunition.
On the morning of April 16, 2007, a 911 call notified police of two shooting victims at West Ambler Johnston Hall on campus of Virginia Tech. That particular on-campus dormitory housed nearly 900 students. About two and a half hours after the initial 911 call, more emergency calls were made reporting another round of shootings at Norris Hall, which houses the Virginia Tech Engineering Science and Mechanics Building.
The nation, on a whole, mourned what happened at Virginia Tech that day. Social media blew up with tributes to the victims. In his April 20, 2007 start for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim against the Seattle Mariners, pitcher Joe Saunders, a Virginia Tech alumnus, was given permission by Major League Baseball to exchange his red Halos cap for the maroon Virginia Tech cap, that he sported in college.
On the fifth anniversary of the shooting, New York Yankees center fielder, Curtis Granderson paid tribute to a massacre victim by wearing wrist bands and cleats with the man’s name stitched on them. Granderson did not know the man but was honored to learn that he had followed Granderson’s career from the minor leagues and throughout his time with the Detroit Tigers.
Sadly, the students of Virginia Tech will mourn one of their own once again. Cameron Smook’s parents will be having a memorial service for their son, though arrangements have not yet been made.
By Jennifer Barclay
Photo by Bill Meador Flickr License