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 less 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 is still searching for the man as of early Wednesday, “utilizing both air and water assets to conduct the search,” they said.
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) May 31, 2023
The man was on his first-ever cruise with his fiancé, Jennliyn Blosser, who has now started 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 celebrate my birthday and sadly he went overboard and still has not been recovered. Please keep our family in your prayers and thanks for your support,” Blosser wrote. “He is our social butterfly that was always on the move and loved to make friends with everyone … I never could of imagine something like this could happen. 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 searching for 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 approximately 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 continue on its way to Norfolk where it will arrive as planned on Tuesday.”
Last week, there was another tragic incident when 18-year-old Cameron Robbins of Louisiana jumped off a cruise ship in the middle of the night in the Bahamas after being dared by classmates.
Robbins’ search was called off early Wednesday morning by the USCG.