Cruises: Carnival Cruise ship passenger disappears overboard sparking “intense search” effort (Image: Getty Images/Twitter/tinadoiv)
A cruise ship passenger is missing after going overboard today off the coast of Florida, USA during a four-day cruise. The United States Coast Guard is searching for the 26-year-old man after the Carnival Cruise Line ship Carnival Victory was relieved from the rescue effort. The Coast Guard says a helicopter, vessel and surveillance aircraft are being used in the search. Carnival Victory was heading back to Miami when the man disappeared and has since returned to the Florida city.
Cruises: Carnival Cruise ship passenger disappears overboard sparking “intense search” effort
US Journalist Kimberly Wyatt, who was on board the ship, tweeted: “An intense search is underway right now. We have turned around.”
She later added: “Security also conducted a room by room, floor by floor search.”
Another passenger posted on Twitter: “A man really fell off our cruise boat. Now turning around full speed to find him alongside the coast guard and a helicopter. Please pray for him! He’s been missing for 4-5 hours now.”
The Carnival Victory was returning to Miami at the time of the man’s disappearance.
A Carnival Cruise spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Carnival Victory will be arriving to PortMiami at approximately 3:00 pm today, after the U.S. Coast Guard released the ship from the search and rescue efforts to locate a 26-year-old male guest who went overboard from the ship early this morning. Our CareTeam is providing support to the guest’s family.
“Once debarkation takes place later this afternoon, Carnival Victory will operate its next cruise as scheduled albeit with a later departure. Embarking guests have been advised of the delay.”
Miami-based lawyer Jim Walker claimed on his maritime blog that at least 23 people have gone overboard this year, according to cruise expert Ross Klein.
Cruises: Carnival Cruise Line ship Carnival Victory launched a search and rescue effort (Image: Twitter/Kimberly Wyatt)
“An average of at least two people a month. 325 people have gone overboard since 2000,” Walker wrote on cruiselawnews.com.
In August, a British woman who fell off the back of a cruise ship miraculously survived spending 10 hours in the sea before she was rescued by the coastguard.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, there are no official statistics on the annual number of people who go overboard.
Last year its report said: “Without exception, when investigations of MOB incidents are successfully concluded it is found that they were the result of an intentional or reckless act.”
Cruise ships are all fitted with high railings and security cameras to prevent such accidents from occurring.
Cruises: The Carnival Victory was returning to Miami and had to turn back to search (Image: Carnival Victory AIS)
A British couple on a cruise hit the headlines this week after a stash of cocaine was allegedly found in their suitcases.
The elderly British couple, 70, and 72, had 9kg of the illegal drug hidden in their suitcases which was found when their cabin was searched.
The discovery was made on a Marco Polo cruise ship, run by Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
Following a tip-off from the UK’s National Crime Agency, police searched the couple’s belongings.
The cocaine was found hidden in false bottoms in four suitcases apparently belonging to the elderly pair, who had paid £3,000 each for their cruise tickets.
A cruise & Maritime Voyages spokesman told The Telegraph: “Cruise & Maritime Voyages is co-operating fully with the Portuguese police officials.
“Cruise & Maritime Voyages do not tolerate any criminal activity or anti-social behaviour on board their ships.”