Coast Guard suspends search for cruise ship passenger off Florida

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(MIAMI) — The search for a Texas man who fell from a cruise ship Friday off the coast of Key Largo, Fla., was suspended Sunday.

David Mossman, 46, was reported to have fallen from the 10th deck of the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas late Friday evening off the coast of Florida Keys.

"We want to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Mossman as the decision to suspend a search is never an easy one to make and is done with great care and deliberation," said Chris Eddy, search-and-rescue technical specialist at the Coast Guard 7th District. "Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and an exhaustive search, our crews were unable to locate him."

On Friday at approximately 11 p.m., watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Key West received a report from the crew aboard Navigator of the Seas that Mossman fell nearly 100 feet from the 10th deck of the cruise ship into the water 36 nautical miles south of Carysfort Reef Light. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued and the Coast Guard cutter Gannet was launched to begin searching for Mossman. A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter and a HC-144 aircraft were launched to begin searching as well.

Coast Guard search-and-rescue crews have searched a total area of 2,583 square nautical miles.

By Professional Mariner Staff