Tourism & Cruises

26-year-old man overboard from cruise ship near the Florida Keys

Cruise ships passengers return to the Carnival Victory after spending a few hours in Key West during a recent port call.
Cruise ships passengers return to the Carnival Victory after spending a few hours in Key West during a recent port call.

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 26-year-old man who went overboard Friday from the Carnival Victory cruise ship. It was 35 miles from Islamorada at the time.

The 2,764-passenger ship was returning to Miami after a four-day Western Caribbean cruise when the man went overboard. The Coast Guard announced at 9:35 a.m. that it sent a helicopter, ship and plane to look for the man early Friday. By 10:15 a.m. the Carnival Victory was back on its normal route to Miami as the Coast Guard continued the search.

Friday’s incident marks the third case of a person overboard from a cruise ship in the last month. On Saturday a 69-year-old woman from Holland went overboard the MSC Preziosa; the Coast Guard did not find her. On Nov. 22, a 27-year-old crew member on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas disappeared from the ship and was never found. In both cases, the disappearances went undiscovered for several hours, until the ships reached port.

A 2010 federal law requires cruise ships to be equipped with technology to detect overboard incidents as soon as they happen “to the extent that such technology is available.” Most cruise lines do not believe the available overboard detection technology is reliable, and most ships do not have it. Carnival declined to comment on whether the Carnival Victory has automatic overboard detection technology.

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas can hold more than 6,000 passengers. Symphony will sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean trips from Miami beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.

This article has been updated to reflect the ship’s correct itinerary: Western Caribbean.

Taylor Dolven covers the tourism industry at the Miami Herald, where she aims to tell stories about the people who work in tourism and the people who enjoy it. Previously, she worked at Vice News in Brooklyn, NY, where she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of NY for a national investigation of police shootings.

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