A thirty-year old man reportedly went overboard from the Carnival Elation which was returning to the port in Jacksonville Sunday afternoon from a five day cruise. News reports say that the man’s traveling companion reported him missing from the ship sometime in the “late afternoon” of July 23, 2023. Carnival conducted a search on the ship and then eventually reviewed surveillance videos which, Carnival claims, show him jumping overboard.
Carnival then contacted the United States Coast Guard which is conducting a search. The Carnival cruise ship did not conduct a search for the missing man in the water and returned to port in Jacksonville.
The man went overboard while the ship was about 95 miles east of Melbourne, Florida.
Carnival, which has not made the video public, claims that CCTV video shows the man allegedly jumping. Carnival did not disclose the deck where the passenger fell from or the circumstances surrounding the incident.
It is unknown when the passenger went overboard. Most people who go overboard from Carnival ships are heavily intoxicated and go into the water late at night or very early in the morning.
Despite the fact that the U.S. Congress in 2010 passed the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act which requires cruise ships to install automatic man overboard systems, there are no cruise ships operated by Carnival Cruise Lines or owned by Carnival Corporation which have such life-saving MOB systems. Current auto MOB technology utilizes motion detection systems to detect when someone goes over the rails of a ship and then, using infrared and radar systems, tracks the person in the water even at nighttime.
Only Disney Cruise Line has installed the systems on all of its cruise ships. MSC Cruises installed an auto MOB system on one cruise ship, the MSC Meraviglia, which it installed in 2017.
According to cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein, at least 386 people have gone overboard from cruise ships and ferries since 1995.
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Image credit: Carnival Elation – Jersyko commons / wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0, Man Overboard (1981) Richard Bosman Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (“With expressionist cuts to the woodblock in this ambitious eight-color print, the artist depicted a moment in an unknown narrative somewhere between beginning and end.”)
July 24, 2023 P.M. Update: The Coast Guard is continuing to search for the missing man as of 3:00 p.m. today (July 24). The USCG dispatched the 87-foot cutter Tarpon from St. Petersburg, a Hercules aircraft based out of Clearwater, and a Miami-based Ocean Sentry aircraft. Meanwhile, the Carnival ship is preparing to leave on a 3:30 p.m. departure back to the Bahamas.
The missing passenger was identified as Jaylen Hill.
The USCG ended it search this evening.