A Carnival cruise passenger on a Bahamas vacation is missing after he leaned over his balcony and fell overboard, officials said

The Carnival Magic cruise ship docked in a port in Marseille, France on a grey, overcast day.
The Carnival Magic cruise ship docked in Marseille, France.Gerard Bottino/Getty Images
  • A man is still missing after he went overboard on a Carnival cruise ship on Monday.

  • Officials said the passenger leaned over a balcony railing and plunged into the water.

  • The unidentified 35-year-old man was aboard the Carnival Magic cruise ship.

A man went overboard on a Carnival cruise ship returning to Virginia from the Bahamas — and he remains missing after officials said he leaned over a balcony railing and plunged into the water.

The United States Coast Guard said in a tweet on Tuesday that crews were searching for a 35-year-old man who fell off the Carnival Magic ship about 186 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, on Monday.


"The Coast Guard is utilizing both air and water assets to conduct the search," the military branch said.

The cruise ship's operator, Carnival Cruise Line, told Insider in a statement that the man — whose identity was not immediately released — was reported missing by his companion late Monday afternoon.

The cruise line added, "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 US 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. The Carnival Care Team is providing support to the guest's companion and traveling party who are on board," the statement continued.

The Carnival Magic ship departed from Norfolk, Virginia, on Thursday and returned to Norfolk on Tuesday, WTKR reported.

Statistically, the odds of falling off a cruise ship are small. A total of 212 overboard incidents were reported on cruise ships from 2009 to 2019, according to a report commissioned by the industry-trade group Cruise Lines International Association. Out of those, 48 people — about 28% — were successfully rescued.

Under the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, cruise ships must have 42-inch guard rails and man-overboard imaging or detection systems. However, not all cruise ships have implemented recently developed automatic man-overboard-detection technology, which uses thermal cameras and radars to immediately alert crew members when a person goes overboard.

The time between someone going overboard and the cruise ship initiating a search-and-rescue mission can be the difference between life and death, as highlighted by the unlikely survival of James Michael Grimes, a Carnival passenger who was stranded at sea for 20 hours after falling overboard last year.

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