Coast Guard suspends search for missing cruise ship passenger (UPDATE)

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

(MIAMI) — The Coast Guard suspended its search at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday for a man who reportedly went overboard Monday from the Carnival Elation cruise ship about 15 miles southwest of Abaco, Bahamas.

Missing is Kevin Wellons, 24, of Warner Robins, Ga.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew deployed to Great Inagua and HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews from Air Station Miami covered more than 1,381 square miles over nine hours searching for Wellons.

Watch standers with the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center received notification at approximately 11 a.m. Monday from the Carnival Elation cruise ship that Wellons was reportedly seen going overboard from the 11th deck on the ship's closed-circuit television.

The cruise ship was transiting from Jacksonville to its first port of call in Nassau, Bahamas.

Elation received the report of the missing passenger at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday from the passenger's wife when the ship moored in Nassau.

By Professional Mariner Staff