A guest has been reported missing and possibly overboard from the Carnival Cruise Line vessel Carnival Valor, and search operations have commenced. The cruise ship is retracing its route, and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is conducting a search.
At the moment, the incident is being classified as a “search and rescue” operation, and activity is focused on locating the missing guest.
Guest Reported Missing From Carnival Valor
The male guest, whose name has not been released to safeguard the family’s privacy, was reported missing at approximately noon on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, 2022.
The last time the individual was seen was at a bar aboard the Conquest-class Carnival Valor with his sister. According to her, he left the bar to find a restroom at approximately 11 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, and was not seen again. The sister reported her brother as missing the next day.
It wouldn’t be unusual to not have reported the guest missing earlier, as it could have been assumed that he went back to his stateroom instead of returning to the bar. If the guest was a known late riser, his absence would not seem significant until later the next day.
No information is available about whether or not the brother and sister were sharing a stateroom, or if there were any other indications of trouble, foul play, or inebriation that could contribute to the possible overboard.
This is not the first time a person has been reported missing and overboard from Carnival Valor, as a female passenger jumped overboard from her balcony in February 2022.
Search Operations Underway
Once the guest was reported missing, the cruise ship reversed course to retrace its route and search for the missing passenger, who is described as a white male wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt, and gray tennis shoes.
Security cameras would undoubtedly have been reviewed as well, and a guest role call may have been initiated – all standard procedures when there is a possible overboard situation.
The U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans was contacted about the incident and has joined the search operations. Local marine traffic has also been alerted to be on the lookout and to report to the USCG if necessary.
At this time, the operation continues to focus on search and rescue. The water temperature in the area where the guest may have gone overboard is roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius).
In calm waters, an individual could survive indefinitely in that water temperature, though exhaustion may occur within 3-12 hours, depending on the individual’s fitness, swimming skills, weather conditions, wave activity, and other factors.
Carnival Valor Itinerary Impact
Tracking data shows that Carnival Valor appears to have been released from search operations and is continuing en route to Cozumel, Mexico, the ship’s next scheduled port of call.
While no official announcements have been reported, the ship’s estimated time of arrival in Cozumel is now approximately 1 p.m. on Friday, November 25. The ship was scheduled to be in Cozumel from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The ship is already moving at 17 knots (19 miles per hour), somewhat less than its top cruising speed of 22 knots (25 mph), but it may yet speed up to regain time and arrive closer to its original schedule.
The 110,000-gross-ton vessel is currently sailing a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise, having departed New Orleans on Wednesday, November 23.
Thanksgiving Day was planned as a day at sea, when ships would normally reduce speed to permit outdoor activities and minimize wind, and so the ship would not have planned to cover as much distance.
On Friday, the ship is in Cozumel, and Saturday is scheduled for Progreso, Mexico. After another day at sea on Sunday, the ship will return to New Orleans on Monday, November 28.
Carnival Valor can welcome 2,980 guests at double occupancy, and as many as 3,756 guests when fully booked. The ship is homeported year-round from New Orleans, offering 4-5 night Western Caribbean itineraries.
Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with the family of the missing man at this difficult time.