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Old May 12th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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Coast Guard in recovery mode for man who fell from cruise ship

The Coast Guard has moved from rescue to recovery mode for an Alabama man who fell from a cruise ship into the Gulf of Mexico.

As they search, Mississippi authorities are trying to piece together how 35-year-old Matthew Scott Bjorn ended up overboard after a fight with his wife.

Investigators now say it is unclear whether Bjorn jumped intentionally or fell accidentally.

Bjorn fell early Saturday morning
"By interviewing witnesses and so forth, we found that the man and his wife were having a minor domestic argument. He was extremely intoxicated,” said Lt. Robbie Cox of the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.

Cox said the couple “had some words,” and that one of the neighbors “overheard a lot of stuff.”

“The neighbor heard him when he went out on the balcony and fell over the furniture, and she saw him climb over the rail and hold on,” said Cox. “She hollered for her husband and about that time, the guy jumped."

According to officials, Bjorn fell in sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. on Saturday.

The incident happened in the stretch of the Gulfport Ship Canal between Cat Island and Ship Island.

Written with AP contributions.
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