They had several drinks at the club and danced with several other passengers. At about 12.30am, Jim told the boys he was going to the men’s room. Jim was never seen again!
When the boys returned to the cabin at about 3am, they decided that Jim must have met someone and would return in the morning. They woke up about 10am and still had not heard from him. They went to the ship authorities and asked to have Jim paged over the intercom. Jim never answered the page. The ship notified the U.S. Coast Guard sometime in the afternoon of July 5, 1999. After we were notified, the ship assured us that they would find him. They said they would do a cabin-by-cabin search during the dinner hour. At 10pm, they told us that they still had not found him.
The following morning, I called the FBI in New Haven, Connecticut. The ship docked in San Juan on the afternoon of July 6, 1999. The FBI asked permission and was granted the request to board the ship. The FBI interviewed a number of people, including the young men that were with Jim the previous night. They left the ship and called me at 10pm that night. They told me that there was no evidence of foul play, and therefore, they concluded that he must have fallen overboard.
A few weeks later, I asked for and was sent the itemized bill of my son’s sail card, which is used to pay for anything on the ship and also serves as a key to enter your cabin. The bill indicated that Jim did not go anywhere and buy anything after he left the Point After disco at about 12:30am on July 5, 1999, and he never reentered his cabin.
In February 2006, after viewing The Primetime television show, a woman from South Carolina recognized Jim as the person that was missing from the cruise ship “Destiny’ that she was on six years before. She related to us that on the morning of July 5, 1999, the phone in her cabin rang and she heard a young man say, “Help me, I can’t get out of here”. Then, she heard a scream, what sounded like furniture being thrown around the room, and some scuffling. Then, the phone went dead. She was interviewed by the ship, as well as the FBI, which is confirmed by the FBI report. She told us that later in the week she asked about my son, and the ship told her that he had been engaged prior the trip, and his fiancé had broken up with him. They said he was despondent and probably committed suicide. This is a total fabrication. She contacted Carnival Cruise’s corporate offices after the trip, in the hopes of being able to contact us. Carnival Cruise told her they had no record of anyone disappearing from the “Destiny” on July 5, 1999.
My son, Jim, had just turned twenty-two less than three weeks before this trip. We have never seen or heard from him since the morning of July 4, 1999. No one should go on a cruise and vanish, but many people do. Since July 23, 2004, eight people, to my knowledge, have vanished from cruise ships. The number of assaults and rapes are not known to me, but in August 1999, the cruise industry said publicly that they would report to authorities at the next port any reports of assault or rapes on their cruise ships.
Hopefully the Senate Hearing on the cruise industry can do something to assure the millions of United States citizens that they will be safe on cruise ships in the future. No families should endure the pain of not knowing how, when, where, or why their loved one did not return home safe from their cruise vacation.
Missing – July 5, 1999
My son, James Christopher Scavone, vanished from the Carnival Cruise Ship “Destiny” on July 5, 1999.
Jim was on the trip with his best friend, Jeff, and twelve members of Jeff's family. They bordered the ship in the afternoon of July 4, 1999. All fourteen of them had dinner that night at 8pm. About 10pm, they visited the casino.
They then went to the Point After disco club.