Coast Guard Searches for Missing Passenger off Florida Keys

File image courtesy USCG District Southeast

By The Maritime Executive 12-14-2018 06:28:34

The U.S. Coast Guard has launched a search and rescue effort for a man who went over the side of the cruise ship Carnival Victory on Friday morning. According to a message released to passengers by the Victory's master, Capt. Roberto Tine, security camera footage confirmed that the man went overboard. 

"Sadly, all the facts surrounding this unfortunate incident indicate it was an intentional act," a Carnival spokesperson told NBC. "We remain hopeful that the U.S. Coast Guard effort will bring positive news."

The Coast Guard has identified the victim as Thomas McElhany, 26. 

At the time of McElhany's disappearance, the Victory was located about 35 nm off Islamorada in the Florida Keys. At about 0930 hours, the Coast Guard dispatched several search assets to the scene to begin a SAR effort. The Carnival Victory departed shortly thereafter to resume her commercial voyage, and she arrived at PortMiami later in the day.

U.S. Coast Guard District Southeast said in an update that its assets will continue the search on scene through the night. 

It was the third MOB situation aboard a Caribbean cruise ship within one month. Last weekend, a 69-year-old female passenger went missing from the MSC Preziosa, and on November 22, a male crewmember of the RCL vessel Adventure of the Seas disappeared. Neither were reported missing for several hours after the suspected time of disappearance, and neither were found.