SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard suspended the search for an MSC Seascape cruise ship crewmember Wednesday night, 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, 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.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow crewmembers of this young man,” said Capt. Jose E. Díaz, 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 watchstanders received initial notification of the incident from the cruise ship at approximately 8:57 p.m. Tuesday, as the cruise ship was enroute from San Juan, Puerto Rico 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 the cruise ship rescue boat to search.
A Coast Guard aircrew 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 a total of 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
Coast Guard Cutters Joseph Doyle and Joseph Napier are 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.