The U. S. Coast Guard this morning suspended its search for a 24-year-old man who was missing from the cruise ship Freedom of the Seas which was en route from Miami to Puerto Rico. Relatives last saw Brent Smith, a 24-year-old man, around 1:45 am Monday on his stateroom balcony. They reported him missing about 7 hours later. Following a search of the cruise ship to determine that Mr. Smith was not onboard, the ship reversed its course in order to conduct a search along the track that it had sailed. However, that search was unsuccessful, and the cruise ship resumed its voyage to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The ship, operated by Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., was expected to dock in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, a day later than scheduled, and then return to Miami on Sunday.
Due to the length of time that has expired, it is not likely that Mr. Smith will be found. However, the AP reported that
Passengers have survived falls from cruise ships before, including three in March alone. A 35-year-old man was pulled from the water about eight hours after he went over the side of a Carnival Cruise Lines ship off Florida’s coast on March 16. A few weeks later, a man and woman in their 20s went overboard from a Princess Cruises ship and were rescued about five hours later with no major injuries.
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