The United States Coast Guard (USCG) suspended the search for a guest who intentionally jumped from the Carnival Elation on Sunday morning, July 23, 2023. The cruise line confirmed that the 30-year-old passenger intentionally jumped from the ship as it returned to Jacksonville, Florida, following a four-night sailing in the Bahamas.
Search Suspended For Guest Overboard
The US Coast Guard has ended its search for a 30-year-old passenger, identified as Jaylen Hill, who went overboard from the Carnival Elation cruise ship on Sunday. The cruise ship was en route to its Jacksonville homeport following a four-night sailing in the Bahamas.
The man was reported missing by a travel companion who could not locate the man on the ship.
Carnival Cruise Line reviewed security footage and discovered that the guest had intentionally jumped from the cruise ship.
Matt Lupoli, a Carnival spokesperson, said, “Sadly, after an exhaustive on-board search and a review of security camera video it was determined that he jumped.” He added that search and rescue efforts were underway to locate the missing passenger continuing, “Shoreside authorities were notified, and the crew was advised to continue to Jacksonville. The Carnival Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts are with them and the guest.”
On Tuesday, the US Coast Guard announced that it had suspended the search for the man.
The decision to suspend rescue efforts is one not taken lightly. The decision considers the weather conditions, length of search conducted, survivability assessments, and the number of teams and vehicles involved.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the Hill family,” said USCG District 7 Petty Officer Eric Rodriguez. “Our crews take our life saving mission very seriously. Any time we can’t bring a loved one home to their family is a pain we all feel.”
The search covered approximately 1,347 square miles near where Hill jumped from the ship. Search efforts included a Hercules C-130 airplane from Clearwater, an 87-foot Tarpon cutter from St. Petersburg, and an Ocean Sentry HC-144.
Carnival Elation was not involved in the search and rescue operation, as the ship had sailed for several hours after the man was discovered missing. The distance traveled was too great for the cruise ship to return and assist with rescue efforts.
Passengers aboard the Elation cruise ship were not impacted as the vessel returned to Jacksonville, Florida, on time.
Man Overboard Incidents on Carnival
The man overboard incident marks the sixth passenger for having gone overboard on a Carnival cruise ship since the beginning of 2022.
It is rare for passengers to fall overboard off a cruise ship. A report commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association found that of the 212 people who fell overboard between 2009 and 2019, only 48 recovered (around 28%).
Some cruise ships equip automatic overboard-detection systems to alert crew members when someone goes overboard.
However, not all cruise ships are equipped with the technology.
Carnival has not confirmed if Carnival Elation has overboard detection systems in place.