Carnival Cruise is operating business as usual after a man who was last seen onboard its ship vanished

Carnival Conquest docked in Key West, Florida.
Carnival Conquest docked in Key West, Florida.Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • It's been nearly two weeks since a man last seen on a Carnival Cruise was reported missing.

  • Friends, family, and fellow passengers have been appealing for information about Kevin McGrath.

  • Many are upset that Carnival has carried on its cruising business as usual.

It's been nearly two weeks since a 26-year-old former US Army veteran seemingly vanished the morning a Carnival Cruise liner docked in the Port of Miami after a family vacation.

McGrath was reported missing at 7 a.m. on September 4, the day he and his family were set to disembark the Carnival Conquest, a representative of Carnival told Insider. Miami-Dade Police also told Insider he was last seen hours before at 2 a.m. by his brother.

Three days later, the US Coast Guard announced it had called off a search for McGrath in the waters surrounding the port, NBC Miami reported.

Over a week later, McGrath's whereabouts remain unknown. While the cruise line told USA Today it was cleared by police to resume services, it's a move heavily criticized by McGrath's loved ones and some of his fellow passengers.

Carnival did not respond to Insider's request for comment on its standard procedure in cases of missing passengers. However, a representative said that "guests were already disembarking from the ship" when McGrath was reported missing.

"Local law enforcement is in charge of the investigation and our team members have fully cooperated with officials," they added.

Jenn Lyles, a passenger who was on the same cruise as McGrath and his family, told Insider she "found it weird that passengers weren't informed or even sent a picture to share if we saw him or knew something."

In a video she shared on TikTok, Lyles – who said she found out McGrath was missing by scrolling the news after the cruise – criticized Carnival for sending out a customer satisfaction survey about the voyage days after disembarkation instead of appealing for information about McGrath's whereabouts.

"How about an email that says 'Hey, there's a guy missing. Did you see him? He wasn't seen past 2 a.m. He never showed up to meet his family for breakfast. This is his photo," Lyles said in the video, which has over 660,000 views.

"Is this what happens when you go missing on a cruise ship?" she added.

A Carnival Cruise representative told Insider the survey is "routine port-cruise communication" and unrelated to McGrath's disappearance.

"If the guest in the TikTok video had information to share, she should have contacted us or Miami Dade Police, but as her comments suggest, she does not have anything to contribute to the investigation," they added.

Nevertheless, Lyles' criticism has been widely echoed by McGrath's loved ones and strangers as they continue to draw attention to his disappearance and share links to a petition addressed to Carnival.

The petition bio said it was created on behalf of McGrath's family, friends, and supporters.

"We believe that Carnival wants to and will do the right thing," it states. "We believe that human life should take priority and precedence over any financial gain. To date, Carnival has shown us that they do not feel the same."

McGrath's father, Sean McGrath, told the local outlet Treasure Coast News that the family is seeking any and all information about his son's case. He added that 43 friends and family members were on the three-day cruise to celebrate him turning 60.

"Even if it's something for closure," he said. "We just want to not get up every day and not know where he is or what happened to him."

The Carnival Conquest docked in Key West, Florida.
The Carnival Conquest docked in Key West, Florida.Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

McGrath's sister Danielle also spoke out about the case and appealed for information from the public in an interview with NBC Miami.

"My brother didn't just vanish," Danielle McGrath said. "Someone knows something. Someone's seen something. I just want my brother home. My family wants my brother home. Just please, we need him home."

Friends and family of McGrath did not respond to requests for comment.

The Conquest has made several voyages since McGrath was reported missing. Voyage data shared on Vessel Finder reports recent port calls include Nassau, Bahamas, on September 10 and Cozumel, Mexico, on Wednesday.

Miami-Dade police did not respond to further requests for comment on whether a search for McGrath is ongoing, and whether it has been in contact with his family members.

While authorities told Insider that there is no evidence that McGrath went overboard while on the cruise, his disappearance comes after at least six people have gone overboard on cruises in the last four months, Insider's Hannah Towey reports.

A 2020 study from the industry trade group Cruise Lines International Association found that 19 people go overboard on cruise ships each year on average.

Read the original article on Insider