Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that a male passenger from Carnival Elation has intentionally gone overboard. The US Coast Guard launched a search operation for the man off the Florida east coast upon being notified of the incident, while the Fantasy-class vessel has returned to its homeport in Jacksonville on schedule.
While the Carnival Elation cruise ship was heading back to its homeport in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday morning, July 23, 2023, a 30-year-old male passenger intentionally went overboard approximately 95 miles (153 kilometers) east of Melbourne.
Carnival Cruise Line confirmed to Cruise Hive that the “crew was notified by his traveling companion late in the afternoon about his missing status after he had not been seen all day.”
The crew launched a significant search for the missing man, but sadly, after reviewing the onboard security cameras, it was confirmed that the male passenger had jumped overboard.
There is no information about the circumstances of the incident, including whether or not any personal disputes or alcohol may have been involved. It is also unknown why the man was not reported missing earlier in the day.
The cruise line also said, “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. Carnival Elation was on a four-day Bahamas sailing and returned to its homeport of Jacksonville on Monday morning.“
The Carnival Elation crew contacted the relevant authorities on land, and the US Coast Guard launched a search operation. Air and surface crews out of Miami, Clearwater, and Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon are are actively searching off the Florida coast.
The 70,367-gross ton Carnival Elation was heading back to Jacksonville at the time to end a four-day Bahamas sailing, which included calls to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and the Bimini Islands. The voyage first departed on Thursday, July 20, 2023 out of Florida.
Due to the timing of the overboard alert, the Fantasy-class vessel was not involved in search operations and was directed to continue en route to Jacksonville. With that, there has been no delay in returning for the ship’s turnaround for its next sailing. Carnival Elation is scheduled to depart on Monday, July 24 on a five-night Bahamas cruise, with visits to Nassau and the private destination of Princess Cays.
This is the second passenger overboard in recent months as it follows another situation with a 35-year-old male passenger who was overboard Carnival Magic at the end of May 2023.
In that incident, the passenger was not recovered despite search efforts that covered more than 5,100 square miles with both air and water assets.
Similar to the man now overboard from Carnival Elation, the man overboard from Carnival Magic was also not reported missing for several hours, which makes search efforts much more challenging.
When search efforts are not able to be initiated immediately, rescue teams must first calculate the ship’s position at the time the overboard occurred. Local water conditions including currents, surface winds, and storms can cause someone overboard to drift significantly away from the ship’s route, and must be factored into search patterns.
Carnival Elation has also previously had an overboard situation. In February 2017, a 24-year-old man went overboard from the vessel while the ship was sailing in The Bahamas. That search was suspended after exhaustive efforts failed to locate the man.
Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing passenger, as well as with the 920 Carnival Elation crew members as they work to bring another fun-filled cruise to new guests just hours after the unfortunate incident.