The U.S. Coast Guard has called off a search for a missing cruise guest who went overboard just before Christmas. The 41-year-old man, who hasn’t been named, was a guest on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas.
He went overboard as the cruise ship was around 127 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina.
1,600 square miles searched
An alert was sent immediately, and Coast Guard crews searched an area of more than 1,600 square miles for several hours without success.
#Breaking @USCG aircrews are searching for a 41-year-old man who went overboard from the Vision of the Seas cruise ship 127 miles east of #Charleston, Sunday.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) December 24, 2023
The @USCG issued an urgent information marine broadcast on VHF-FM Channel 16 with more information.#USCG #Charleston pic.twitter.com/Yzuzx8Yvtd
The USCG posted on X that it wound down the search on Monday. The ship remained at the scene for around six hours to assist Coast Guard search and rescue crews.
Royal Caribbean hasn’t named the guest. “Out of privacy for family, we have no additional details to share,” a cruise company spokesperson said.
The 2,500-guest ship departed Baltimore on Friday and called at Port Canaveral and then Bimini on Christmas Day. It is still in Bahamas waters and returns to Baltimore on December 30.
The incident happened in the early evening
Cruise guest Colin Schappi described the scene on Saturday as the man overboard alarm signal was triggered. “All the staff made a face at each other,” Schappi told Charleston TV news station WCBD. No one knew what was going on at first, then they did another announcement explaining what happened a few minutes later.” It happened while Schappi was at dinner.
At least 16 people have gone overboard from cruise ships so far this year, with only two surviving.