True Stories
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People Who Mysteriously Vanished From Cruise Ships

Updated April 15, 2020 133.1k views11 items

Cruises are supposed to be happy, carefree moments of maritime bliss; what could go wrong on a vacation on the sea? In reality, there has been a shocking number of cruise ship disappearances, and over 165 people have gone missing since 1995. Cruise ships traverse the vast oceans and often maintain entertainment options into the wee hours of the night, and there's certainly no shortage of libations flowing for those on board. Some passengers have fallen overboard, while other guests have disappeared via more mysterious means.

Investigations into such disappearances can often be inconclusive, as missing passengers are frequently never found. And while security footage can sometimes provide clues, some videos have produced more questions than they have answered. For that reason, the families of many cruise ship victims have written about their tragic experiences in an attempt to increase awareness about cruise ship safety. 

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  • Russel Terence Rebello Died A Hero

    Video: YouTube

    Russel Terence Rebello, 33, died a hero. He was a crew member aboard the Costa Concordia, which smashed into a reef and capsized in January of 2012 off Giglio Island, Italy. A total of 32 people were killed in the wreck, and Rebello stayed aboard to help other passengers get off, giving one of them his lifejacket. 

    For months, it was not clear what happened to Rebello. The grim conclusion to the mystery came three years later when Rebello's body was found, still on the ship.

  • Annette Mizener Won A Cruise, Then Disappeared

    Annette Mizener, 37, won a Carnival cruise to the Mexican Riviera in December 2004. She took her parents and her teenage daughter along for the trip. 

    On the night of her disappearance, she sang karaoke with her daughter, then hit the casino. Her parents quickly became concerned when Mizener did not show up to play Bingo with them as scheduled later that evening. 

    Mizener's purse was discovered on one of the ship's lower decks, near a railing, leading many to believe she somehow fell or was pushed overboard. Yet an extensive search conducted by the Coast Guard and the Navy failed to find any trace of Mizener, and the FBI's investigation was inconclusive. The only camera that might have caught what happened was blocked by a map of the ship.

  • Merrian Carver Disappeared On An Alaskan Cruise

    Video: YouTube

    Merrian Carver, 40, disappeared from a Celebrity Cruises ship in August 2004. 

    Carver had gone on the trip alone and disappeared on only the second day of a seven-day Alaskan tour. Though one of the crew members reported that Carver seemed to be missing, the ship failed to respond. When they found Carver's belongings still in her cabin after the cruise had ended, they simply donated them to charity. They never reported her disappearance to police. It was Carver's family who filed a missing persons report after not hearing from her for days. They were not even aware at the time of the filing that Carver had gone on a cruise. 

    Royal Caribbean, who owns Celebrity Cruises, ruled the disappearance a suicide, but without a proper investigation, Carver's family will never know. 

  • Hue Pham And Hue Tran Vanished While Celebrating Their 50th Anniversary

    Hue Pham, 70, and Hue Tran, 65, went missing while on a Carnival Cruise ship heading from Barbados to Aruba in May 2005. The couple had gone on the cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They were traveling with their daughter and granddaughter. 

    The couple vanished from the ship, leaving behind only their shoes as a clue, which were found on the ship's deck. Though some have speculated the couple committed suicide, their son, Michael Pham, doesn't buy it. He said they were happy and had been planning a trip to Vietnam to see relatives.