A man who jumped from a cruise ship into the Atlantic ocean was rescued by the crew of a gambling ship early on Wednesday after spending more than seven hours in the sea, Coast Guard and cruise officials said.
The unidentified 23-year-old man was a passenger on Royal Caribbean's Sovereign
of the Seas, a 2,280-passenger ship on a four-day cruise out of Florida's Port Canaveral
. His sailing companions reported him missing about 2 a.m. on Wednesday and crewmen searched the vessel, finding a note in his stateroom "indicating that he might have been considering jumping from the ship," Royal Caribbean spokesman Michael Sheehan said. The crew turned the ship around, searched the area and placed a distress call to the Coast Guard, which sent helicopters to scour the ocean but failed to find the missing man, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mike Brock said. The Coast Guard later got a call from the crew of the Bahamian gambling ship Ambassador, which had picked up the missing man from the water south of the Bahamian city of Freeport seven or eight hours after he was reported missing. The man was cold and exhausted and taken to a hospital in Freeport, but seemed relatively unhurt, Sheehan said. He did not know why the man jumped overboard. - (Reuters)