A passenger has gone missing after falling overboard on a Carnival cruise ship.
The 35-year-old man, identified as Ronnie Lee Peale Jr., reportedly fell overboard lower than 200 miles off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida on Monday while aboard the Carnival Magic. The cruise ship set sail from Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday heading to the Bahamas.
The U.S. Coast Guard remains to be trying to find the person as of early Wednesday, “utilizing each air and water assets to conduct the search,” they said.
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) May 31, 2023
The person was on his first-ever cruise together with his fiancé, Jennliyn Blosser, who has now began a GoFundMe page entitled “Funeral Expenses” for Peale though it has not been confirmed nor clarified whether or not he has been found.
Blosser and Peale Jr. via Facebook
“We went on a cruise to have a good time my birthday and sadly he went overboard and still has not been recovered. Please keep our family in your prayers and thanks on your support,” Blosser wrote. “He’s our social butterfly that was all the time on the move and loved to make friends with everyone … I never could of imagine something like this might occur. Devastated to say the least.”
Passengers told local Virginia news station WKTR that they heard staff asking for Pearle over the intercom “several times” early Tuesday morning, noting that security was trying to find him on all floors of the boat.
Carnival confirmed the incident via a statement to WKTR.
“He was reported missing by his companion late Monday afternoon and an initial review of closed circuit security footage confirms that he leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water at roughly 4:10 am early Monday morning,” the cruise line said. “The U.S. Coast Guard has released the ship from any search and rescue efforts and advised the ship’s captain to proceed on its method to Norfolk where it’ll arrive as planned on Tuesday.”
Last week, there was one other tragic incident when 18-year-old Cameron Robbins of Louisiana jumped off a cruise ship in the course of the night within the Bahamas after being dared by classmates.
Robbins’ search was called off early Wednesday morning by the USCG.