George Allen Smith who mysteriously vanished from a honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean July 5, 2005 was supposed to celebrate his 27th birthday yesterday. Unfortunately this was not the case. In one of the first statements made by his family since the disappearance they stated the following:
George Allen Smith IV was supposed to wake up tomorrow morning to his 27th birthday. He was supposed to head over to the Cos Cob Liquor store for work while his new wife, Jennifer Hagel, would have been inside a Westport classroom teaching third-graders.
None of that happened and yesterday, nearly three months after Smith mysteriously vanished from a honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean, his family issued their first public comments since Smith disappeared July 5.
“George was a beautiful person in every facet of the word,” the family said in the statement. “We miss George so very much.”
This is much like another well publicized case of an upcoming birthday that appears will not be celebrated with the missing person either. Natalee Holloway’s family will have the upcoming difficult experience on October 21, 2005 they will have celebrated her birthday.
Smith’s family has pretty much remained silent and refused media requests for interviews. They have remained silent in the search for answers and information in to the disappearance of George Allen Smith.
The family has declined all media requests, and yesterday, they declined to say anything further than what was in the statement — which was published today on the eve of his birthday.
Smith’s family did, however, say the following with regards to what they would like their son’s legacy to be. They are calling on the government to make legislative changes into cruise ship travel and the protection of passengers.
At the end, the family calls for legislative changes to the cruise line industry that would better protect passengers and their family.
“We believe his legacy can be one that helps other families be spared of tragedies like ours,” the family said.
Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., who earned praise from the Smith family for the help he and his staff have provided them, said he will ask to hold congressional hearings into the cruise industry.
“What’s more painful is what may have happened, how they heard about it and how poorly this kind of circumstance is followed up on. It raises all kinds of questions.”
Representative Shays also went on to discuss the many problems and complexities of jurisdiction that simply complicate any investigation the cruise ship industry. All anyone need do is talk to the parents of Amy Bradley to understand the difficulties of dealing with cruise ship lines when someone goes missing.
Iva Bradley: So we’re putting our families and our children in danger, and because of the situation with the United States being in a position where they say they have no jurisdiction, it hurt us terribly, and it hurt Amy. And we’ve not gotten the help that we need.
Shayes went on to say the following:
“How often is someone missing?” Shays said. “Is this the perfect place to commit the perfect crime?”
There also are jurisdictional problems investigating these tragedies on cruise ships because many different companies may be involved, Shays said. Cruise companies incorporate under one country, base their operations in another country, operate their ships under possibly a third country’s flag, carry passengers and crew members from many different nationalities and travel through multiple international ports of call.