NORFOLK, Va. (WFLA) — Search and rescue teams covered over 5,000 square miles in their relentless search for 35-year-old Ronnie Peale Jr., who fell from a Carnival cruise ship off the coast of Florida on Monday.
The Coast Guard said it had spent nearly 40 hours searching more than 5,000 square miles by Wednesday afternoon. Crews relied on a combination of air and sea assets to search around the clock.
The man’s partner, Jennilyn Blosser, reported him missing late Monday afternoon. Security footage on the ship shows the man “leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water” around 4 a.m., according to a Coast Guard statement.
The ship was about 185 miles east of Jacksonville when Peale went overboard.
Carnival said the Coast Guard released the ship from search efforts and told the captain to head back to port in Norfolk, Virginia. The ship can hold nearly 4,000 guests and is about 1,000 feet (300 meters) long.