Several news stations are reporting that a 31 year old man went overboard last night from the Carnival Fascination cruise ship.
Newspapers are reporting that a Carnival crew member observed the passenger jumping off the top deck of the ship into the water. The ship had left Jacksonville around 5:00 P.M and was heading to Key West. The ship was 25 miles off the Coast of Florida near Volusia County.
The incident reportedly occurred around 2 a.m.
A Carnival spokesperson said that the crew threw life rings into the water and the ship then turned back to the location where the man went overboard.
Bay News 9 reports that the Coast Guard deployed considerable resources in searching for the man, including the 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, the 154-foot Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber, a Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter, the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Shrike, a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.
No information has been released regarding why the man jumped, if that is really what happened.
Given the late hour, one of the things that I would inquire about is whether the passenger was drinking alcohol. I would request the ship's records regarding the passenger's on board purchases to see how many drinks he purchased. There is a 100% certainty that Carnival's lawyers in Miami have already looked at this information, as well as any CCTV images of the passenger on the ship.
As usual, there is a spirited debate about the story at the CruiseCritic boards, with one member suggesting that the case was not a suicide but involved the passenger allegedly running away from a security guard and jumping overboard with a life ring. Can't verify this of course.
Anyone on the cruise ship have accurate information?