Search ends for crewman overboard from cruise ship

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday night for an MSC Seascape cruise ship crewmember who is believed to have fallen overboard in the Atlantic Ocean north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Still missing is a 30-year-old man of Indian nationality who was reportedly observed going overboard Tuesday night, approximately 80 feet from the bow of the cruise ship from a height of approximately 32 feet above the water. The crewmember was reportedly wearing a white shirt and red shorts.

MSC Seascape. Wikipedia photo

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow crewmembers of this young man,” said Capt. Jose E. Diaz, Sector San Juan commander. “Losing a loved one or a fellow shipmate at sea is very difficult, may they find strength and closure during this most difficult time. I commend the efforts of all the rescue units involved in the search efforts and truly appreciate the collaboration of our fellow partner agencies for their prompt response and assistance.”

Coast Guard watch standers received initial notification of the incident from the cruise ship at approximately 8:57 p.m. Tuesday as the cruise ship was en route from San Juan to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The cruise ship reported throwing a lifeline and three life rings with the cruise ship’s name on them and launched its rescue boat to search.

A Coast Guard air crew deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy which measures sea currents to assist with search planning efforts.

Rescue crews located the three life rings Wednesday morning, of which two were recovered.Unfortunately search efforts did not yield signs of a survivor.

Coast Guard air and surface crews searched for 34 hours, completing 12 searches and covering approximately 887 square nautical miles within the established search area.

Coast Guard and interagency air assets involved in the search:

• MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Borinquen
• Coast Guard cutter Joseph Napier
• Coast Guard cutter Joseph Doyle
• U.S. Customs and Border Protection
• Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action
• U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
• U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol
• MSC Seascape

Joseph Doyle and Joseph Napier are 154-foot fast response cutters home-ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff