A crew member was witnessed falling overboard from Carnival Sensation early Thursday morning at 12:40am. The ship was about 20 miles east of Vero Beach (FL), on its way to Port Canaveral at the time.
Carnival says the man who went overboard was an off-duty member of the entertainment staff. The man was seen going overboard by six fellow crew members, and their accounts indicate it was clearly accidental.
The ship immediately began a search and rescue operation, and contacted the US Coast Guard. The Coast Guard now reports they have the following assets on the scene: An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Air Station Miami, an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew, HU-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, 33-foot Special Purpose boat crew all from Station Fort Pierce (FL), and the Cutter Bluefin and Cutter Shrike, both 87-foot patrol boats.
The Coast Guard released Carnival Sensation from the search at 6am Thursday, but the Coast Guard search continued. Carnival Sensation proceeded to Port Canaveral where it arrived at 9:25am, and it turned around for its next cruise Thursday evening.
Carnival Sensation was returning from a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas which departed Port Canaveral on December 28.
The Coast Guard search is continuing on Friday, although the assets involved in the search have been decreased to a single C-130 and a single cutter. The search will continue at least until nightfall on Friday.
Last Update Jan 2, 3pm EST