Coast Guard suspends search for overboard cruise ship passenger

Posted at 9:56 PM, Dec 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-15 22:56:30-05

MIAMI — Coast Guard crews suspended their search Saturday night for a Carnival Victory cruise ship passenger who went overboard.

Crews were searching for 26-year-old  Thomas McElhany south of Islamorada, Florida. 

Coast Guard watchstanders received a call from the cruise ship at approximately 5 a.m. Friday, stating a passenger had reportedly went overboard.

“I have been in contact with members of Mr. McElhany’s family throughout our search efforts and know this is a very difficult and painful time for them,” said Cmdr. David Aldous, Coast Guard 7th District search and rescue mission coordinator. “Suspending a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make as first responders, and it is never made lightly.”

Coast Guard rescue crews were composed of Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplanes, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton (WPC-1108), homeported in Key West, and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cochito (WPB-87329), homeported in Miami.

Crews searched for approximately 32 hours, covering 2,086 square miles.