JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE 10:05 a.m. 6/1- The Coast Guard suspended its search for Ronnie Peale Jr., who fell overboard 186 miles east of Jacksonville’s coast.
Read the full news release from the Coast Guard HERE.
UPDATE 7:35 a.m. 5/31- The Coast Guard said that it looked throughout the night for the missing man and is continuing to search this morning. Friends identified him as Ronnie Peale Jr. Carnival Cruise Lines said that surveillance footage shows Peale leaning over his room balcony before falling into the waters below. People with Peale that night said he was intoxicated.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that it’s searching for a man who went overboard from a cruise ship off the coast of Jacksonville.
According to a tweet by the Coast Guard, a 35-year-old man fell over the side of the Carnaval Magic on Monday roughly 186 miles east of Jacksonville. The Coast Guard said it is utilizing both air and water assets to conduct the search.
According to CBS affiliate WTKR, the ship, Carnival Magic, departed from Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday, May 25 and headed toward the Bahamas. It returned to Norfolk on May 30 as the search efforts continue.
WTKR reported that the man was reported missing by a travel companion late Monday afternoon. This information was confirmed with the station by Carnival Cruise Line.
A spokesperson for the cruise line said, “...an initial review of closed circuit security footage confirms that he leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water at approximately 4:10 am early Monday morning.”
The Coast Guard released the ship from search and rescue efforts and told the Carnival Magic’s captain to continue on its way to Norfolk.
After Carnival Magic returned to Norfolk on Tuesday morning, some passengers told WTKR that they heard crew personnel asking for the man over the intercom, but they didn’t know why or how the man was missing.
“There was a security team storming each deck, each floor, concerned. But eventually, they let everybody know that he wasn’t found,” passenger Leevon Porter told WTKR.
Symone Stewart, another passenger, told WTKR that Carnival Magic staff didn’t alert them about the man going overboard. He said that instead, he learned the man went overboard through a Facebook post published by his wife.
“There was a Facebook page for the cruise and [the wife of the man who went overboard] put it there,” said Stewart. “But Carnival didn’t say anything about it.”
Carnival Cruise Line said its Care Team is providing support to the guest’s companion.
Their statement is as follows:
Carnival Magic has reported a man overboard to the U.S. Coast Guard. He was reported missing by his companion late Monday afternoon and an initial review of closed circuit security footage confirms that he leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water at approximately 4:10 am early Monday morning. The U.S. Coast Guard has released the ship from any search and rescue efforts and advised the ship’s captain to continue on its way to Norfolk where it will arrive as planned on Tuesday. The Carnival Care Team is providing support to the guest’s companion and traveling party who are on board.— Carnival Cruise Line
Officials did not release any other details about the incident.
CLICK HERE to read the WTKR article.
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