Lost At Sea: Ship Passengers

The deep blue sea can be a source of mystery for families of passengers who leave on cruises, and never return.

CBS News Correspondent Melinda Murphy

on The Early Show Friday that statistics for passengers going overboard are hard to come by, because no government agency requires them. But, over the past five years, at least 13 people are known to have wound up in the water. Two were rescued, two confirmed dead, and nine are still missing.

"It's a real priority to keep things moving. I don't want to say at any cost, but it's a big priority," says author Kristoffer Garin.

He wrote "Devils in the Deep Blue Sea," a behind-the-scenes chronicle of a competitive cruising industry, in which ship security staffers can often be at odds with other crew members.

"Security officers have complained of wanting to freeze the room, to isolate the crime scene, and they are basically pushed out of the way by officers with a mandate of the captain, who brings the cleaning staff in," Garin asserts.

Murphy notes that Friday marks a month since George Smith vanished from his honeymoon cruise through the Mediterranean.