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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The U.S. Coast Guard has taken over the search for a man who went overboard off Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.
The Doral based company issued a statement Thursday morning stating:
“We are saddened to report a guest onboard Independence of the Seas was witnessed intentionally going overboard from deck 12 at 1:45 a.m.”
The ship immediately launched two lifeboats to search for the man and contacted to U.S. Coast Guard to assist in the search.
“The captain made an announcement that someone went overboard about 1 in the morning,” said passenger Jonnie Nuhin.
“We heard a person jumped, that’s all we really know, the cruise ship went back to the look for the person,” said another passenger.
The 22-year-old man reportedly jumped from the 12th deck of the ship when it was approximately 33 miles southeast of Key Largo.
Passengers said when they got word that someone intentionally jumped the mood onboard changed quickly.
“To think that we were all having a good time happy time, and for it to end like that, it really got solemn,” said Dianne Hinckson.
Royal Caribbean said the ship was on the last leg of a four night cruise, and returning to Port Everglades, when the passenger jumped ship.