FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — It was a somber end to what was supposed to have been a getaway vacation for passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.
On Friday, a passenger went missing when he fell into the ocean about 80 miles northeast of Mayaguana, Bahamas.
A day later, the U.S. Coast Guard announced they had suspended their search for the missing 35-year-old man from Brazil shortly after the ship made its scheduled return to Port Everglades.
“It was a big downer,” said Texas resident Tom White, when asked how everyone on the ship felt upon learning the news.
“A lot of people were really affected by it. And I think more so once they’d seen it on the internet,” added passenger Steve Sanford.
Video of the incident was recorded and uploaded to Youtube by a passenger who witnessed it.
According to Royal Caribbean, the man was spotted by crew members intentionally jumping from the ship’s deck, just moments before he’d lose his grip clinging to the metal davit that holds a life raft and falling into the water.
Crews searched an area covering nearly 1,000 square nautical miles for the man but their efforts were unsuccessful.
“All their search boats, all night long, were there,” recalled George McNerney as he tried to fall asleep that night.
“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones and all that have been affected by this tragedy,” said the Coast Guard’s 7th District Chief of Response Management, Capt. Todd Cohheshall.
The cruise departed from Ft. Lauderdale last week.