Search Ends for Man Missing From Carnival Cruise Ship

The search has unfortunately ended for the man reported missing overboard from Carnival Magic, with unsuccessful results.

Authorities have ended search operations for a male passenger gone missing from Carnival Magic early on Monday, May 29. Search efforts were unsuccessful and the man was not recovered, despite the use of both air and water assets and with more than 5,171 square miles searched and over 60 combined hours of resource use.

Search Efforts Called Off

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) search efforts to find a 35-year-old male passenger confirmed overboard from Carnival Magic have not been successful, and the search operations ended on Wednesday evening.

The man was reported missing from the 130,000-gross ton Dream-class vessel late Monday afternoon, at which time security camera footage from the ship was reviewed and it was discovered that he had leaned over a stateroom balcony and “dropped into the water” at approximately 4:10 a.m. Monday morning.

“The Seventh Coast Guard District dispatched multiple search and rescue assets as soon as we were notified of the missing person. Our command center watchstanders provided search patterns to cutter crews and air crews who actively searched from Monday through Wednesday evening,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Hooper, Coast Guard District Seven search and rescue mission coordinator.

“The decision to suspend the active search efforts pending further development is never one we take lightly. We offer our most sincere condolences to Mr. Peale’s family and friends.”

Coast Guard Overboard Search Area
Coast Guard Overboard Search Area

There is no explanation at this time as to why the man’s traveling companion, identified by some news outlets as his wife or longtime fiancé, failed to report him missing earlier in the day.

The USCG was contacted about the emergency and immediately deployed both air and water assets to the appropriate search area, 186 miles (300 kilometers) east of Jacksonville, Florida.

Search efforts continued through Monday night, all day on Tuesday, and through much of Wednesday using both air and water assets as available for the light conditions. A total of more than 5,000 square miles (12,950 square kilometers) was thoroughly searched without success. The combined asset resources amounted to more than 40 search hours.

Carnival Magic Continuing to Sail

Because the man was not reported missing for many hours after he was confirmed overboard, Carnival Magic was quickly cleared to resume its original course and itinerary, as the cruise ship had already passed well out of the applicable search range when the report was made.

The ship was at the end of a 5-night cruise that had visited both Nassau and Freeport in The Bahamas, and was to have a final day at sea on Monday before returning to Norfolk, Virginia on Tuesday, May 30.

Carnival Magic, Norfolk, Virginia
Carnival Magic, Norfolk, Virginia (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

The ship did return to its homeport on schedule as planned, and has already begun its next sailing, an identical itinerary to The Bahamas.

Guests onboard the cruise where the man went missing reported multiple public address announcements were made in an attempt to locate the passenger, but no further information was made available.

Investigation Ongoing

Social media posts after the cruise ended identified the missing man as Ronnie Lee Peale Jr., a Virginia resident who was apparently on his very first cruise.

Just hours after the cruise ended in Norfolk, the woman he was traveling with – Jennilyn Blosser, who identified herself as his “lover” – started a GoFundMe fundraiser asking for $20,000 to help with funeral expenses.

While it is possible for a physically fit individual to stay alive in ocean water for some time – a passenger overboard from Carnival Valor in late November 2022 was rescued alive after approximately 20 hours – Peale has been missing for more than 60 hours.

The fundraiser was discontinued after just one day, having only raised $1,055, according to its GoFundMe page.

Due to the as-yet-unknown circumstances of how the man fell from the cruise ship, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun an investigation, as is typical in these types of incidents. Cruise line authorities are cooperating in every way.

Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the friends and family members of the missing man, as well as the Carnival Magic crew members impacted by this tragic occurrence.

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