U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crews are searching by sea and air for a 30-year-old man who reportedly jumped over the railing of the Bahamas Cruise Ship Celebration early Sunday morning, 27-miles east of Delray Beach, Florida.
James Miller of Charleston, South Carlina, a passenger aboard the vessel, reportedly went overboard early Sunday, the USCG said.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Seventh District in Miami received notification from the Celebration at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday. Coast Guard Sector Miami issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched Station Lake Worth Inlet, Florida smallboat crewmembers to search the area for the person in the water. A Coast Guard cutter and two air crews were also launched from Coast Guard Air Station Miami to assist in the search.
Assisting in the search are the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bluefin, a 87-foot patrol boat, homeported in Fort Pierce, Florida; an MH-65 rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and a HC-144 Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami.
The cruise ship, a six-deck vessel with capacity for 1,250 passengers in 502 cabins, docked in West Palm Beach, Florida at 9 a.m. and got underway en route to Freeport, Bahamas at approximately 6:30 p.m. Bahamas Celebration offers two-night cruises to the Bahamas archipelago off Florida's east coast.
This case is currently under investigation by the FBI.
The Associated Press pointed out that a similar incident occurred about two years ago when a 47-year-old Canadian woman went missing off the Bahamas Celebration as it was returning to Florida. The woman was not found.
Source, USCG, AP, staff