A 35-year-old man went overboard from his stateroom balcony on the Carnival Magic as the ship returned to Norfolk. Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

Search Suspended for Man Who Went Overboard from Cruise Ship Returning to Norfolk

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man who went overboard from a Carnival cruise ship on its way from the Bahamas home to Norfolk.

U.S. Coast Guard Southeast says a 35-year-old man went overboard from the Carnival Magic when it was 186 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida in the early hours on Monday morning.

In a statement, Carnival Cruise Line says the man’s companion reported him missing late Monday afternoon. An initial review of the ship’s closed circuit security footage confirmed that he “leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water at approximately 4:10 a.m. Monday.”

Carnival Magic reported the man overboard to the Coast Guard, who released the cruise ship from any search and rescue efforts, Carnival says, and advised the captain to continue on its way to Norfolk.

The ship arrived in Norfolk Tuesday morning. According to the company, the Carnival Care Team is providing support to the missing man’s companion and traveling party.

The Coast Guard used boats and aircraft to search for the missing man, but announced late Wednesday evening that the search had been suspended.

Man overboard cases on cruise ships are relatively rare, according to a study conducted by G.P. Wild (International) Limited for the Cruise Lines International Association, but odds of successful rescue are not good. According to the report, a total of 212 people (both passengers and crew) fell overboard from cruise ships between 2009 and 2019. Of those, only 28 percent were successfully rescued.

-Meg Walburn Viviano