Thread: Man overboard!!
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Here is a little more inforative article.

Cruise passengers describe minutes after worker fell overboard
BY ED BIERSCHENK, staff and FLORIDA TODAY
Originally published 10:09 a.m., January 1, 2009
Updated 05:25 p.m., January 1, 2009

VERO BEACH — If a 26-year-old entertainer missing from a cruise ship passing east of here is not found, Coast Guard officials said the search for the man would continue at least until dusk Friday. The off-duty employee of the Carnival cruise ship Sensation accidentally fell overboard about 12:40 a.m. Thursday in waters about 20 miles east of here, according to a statement from the company.

Six crew members saw the employee, whose name has not been released, go overboard, Carnival said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this young man at this time, as well as with his friends and family,” the company said in a statement.

The cruise line on Thursday had not described what led up to the incident. The only additional information available about the man is that he is a U.S. citizen, about 5-foot-9 and about 165 pounds.

The man fell 82 feet, said Coast Guard spokesman James Harless.

“It is a high distance. He fell into seven-foot seas without a life jacket at night. There were winds and strong current he was battling with along with the high seas.”

Passengers disembarking from the ship at Port Canaveral Thursday said the man was trying to take a photograph when he went overboard.

“I’m devastated just as other passengers are,” said Sara Tyner of Tampa.

Tyner recalled hearing the ship’s captain calling over the ship’s speaker system shortly after the incident.

“There was panic in his voice,” she said. “This was totally different” from other communications from the captain.

Laura Martin, a passenger from upstate New York, said she and her three daughters were leaving the band-stand area when the incident occurred. She said she saw a commotion involving several young women on the entertainment crew. She said they yelled down to other crew members who went into action immediately to try to rescue the man.

Passengers said the crew acted professionally in clearing the decks. They said the ship was brought to a stop.

The Sensation returned at 9:25 a.m. to Terminal 5 in Port Canaveral after assisting in the search. The ship was coming back from a four-day cruise to the Bahamas.

Search and rescue coordinators from Miami and Fort Pierce are using four boats, two helicopters and two planes in their search. Carnival is also assisting the search, Harless said. The Coast Guard Thursday added a C-130 plane to the search.

More than 15 searches had been conducted Thursday in a 1,200-square-mile area of where the employee fell, according to Coast Guard officials. If still searching at the end of the day Friday, they said they would re-evaluate the situation.

Law enforcement officials in Indian River County will investigate what happened, Harless said. Carnival will conduct its own investigation as well, he said.

The missing employee is the second person this week to make news for going over the rail of a cruise ship.

A search was called off earlier this week for Jennifer Ellis-Seitz, 36, who reportedly went overboard last Thursday from the Norwegian Pearl near Cancun, Mexico. Family members have said she had emotional problems and may have committed suicide. Ellis-Seitz lived in Winter Haven with her husband of about one year. He and her mother accompanied her on the cruise.

The Sun-Sentinel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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