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Search Continues After Man Goes Overboard on First Cruise

Search Continues After Man Goes Overboard on First Cruise

Search Continues After Man Goes Overboard on First Cruise

Surveillance video captured the early morning moments the Virginia man fell into the sea.

By Jamiel Lynch, Rebekah Riess and Sharif Paget, CNN

(CNN) —Coast Guard crews are searching for a 35-year-old man who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, officials said.

Ronnie Peale Jr., of Crimora, Virginia, went overboard, his partner and his mother told CNN. He fell from the Carnival Magic early Monday, according to the cruise line, and a search was taking place about 185 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, US Coast Guard Southeast said Tuesday.

Crews had covered more than 4,000 square miles by Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard said. The search by air resumed Wednesday morning after crews on the water searched throughout the night.

Peale and his partner, Jennilyn Blosser, went on the cruise to celebrate her birthday, and it was his first time on a cruise, Blosser said. She went to bed Sunday night, and when she woke up on Monday around 11:30 a.m., she was unable to find her partner, she told CNN.

“When I couldn’t find him, I called his mom to ask if she had talked to him and she said she did not,” Blosser said.

An initial review of closed circuit security footage “confirms that he leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and dropped into the water at approximately 4:10 am early Monday morning,” Carnival said in a statement.

The passenger’s companion reported him missing late Monday afternoon, the statement reads.

The Carnival Magic left Norfolk, Virginia, on Thursday for a five-night sailing to the Bahamas, according to the cruise line’s website. The ship continued on its way to Norfolk after initial search and rescue efforts, at the advice of the Coast Guard, Carnival said.

Peale’s mother, Linda Peale, told CNN she had been watching his three dogs and grew concerned when he did not call to ask about them.

“Ronnie is in love with his dogs and he has been calling me three times a day to check on them. He did not call in the morning and when he did not call at lunchtime, I was very worried,” Linda Peale said.

Cruise officials informed Blosser that Peale was seen in surveillance footage early Monday going overboard, Blosser said.

Blosser described Peale as a social butterfly who mingled freely with other passengers on the ship.

“He really was the life of the party. He was all about socializing and making friends,” Blosser said.

Linda Peale said the US Coast Guard has been in close communication about their search efforts. She said she would like cruise ships to install alarms capable of alerting crews when a passenger falls off.

She described her son as a “wonderful” family man who loves music and his dogs.

“He loved being with his family and he had a willingness to help anyone who needed it,” she said.

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