A desperate search is underway off the coast of Puerto Rico for a crew member who fell overboard from a cruise ship on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old Indian national is presumed missing after plunging into the rough Atlantic Ocean from the MSC Seascape.
The fall was reportedly witnessed with the man going over about 32 feet above the water. “The cruise ship reported throwing a lifeline and three life rings and launched the cruise ship rescue boat to search,” a U.S. Coast Guard statement said.
U.S. Coast Guard leading the search
The AIS on MarineTraffic shows the search and rescue pattern of MSC Seaside immediately after the incident occurred.
“Watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter, which diverted Coast Guard Cutters to the scene,” the USCG said. The Coast Guard aircrew were first on the scene and deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy to measure sea currents. The cutters soon followed them, it said.
Search and rescue crews focused the search north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, but so far without success. The incident happened shortly after the ship left San Juan, Puerto Rico, heading for its next port call at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
The second incident this week
The coast guard has released the MSC Seascape from the search and is en route to the Dominican Republic. After being released from the search, it continued its voyage to the Dominican Republic. The ship is sailing a Caribbean cruise and is due back at PortMiami later this week.
It is the second overboard incident in just a few days. Earlier this week, a 28-year-old male guest on Carnival Glory went overboard in the Gulf of Mexico. The Carnival guest was never located.
This is the 14th man overboard for the cruise industry in 2023 and the first for MSC Cruises.
MSC Cruises did not reply to our email for comment.