Coast Guard ends search for Horizon cruise ship passenger in the Caribbean Sea

Coast Guard Cutter Drummond

Coast Guard File Photo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard rescue crews ended search efforts at 2p.m. Tuesday for a “Croisières de France” Horizon cruise ship passenger suspected of going overboard in the Caribbean Sea Monday morning, approximately 16 nautical miles south of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Still missing is Dominic William O’Carroll, a 67-year-old Irish citizen, who was found to be missing following a passenger count, after a crewmember reported seeing  person or large object going overboard early Monday morning. The Horizon was travelling from La Romana, Dominican Republic to the island of St. Maarten.

“The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of this passenger remain unclear,” said Capt. Robert Warren, Sector San Juan commander.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this most difficult time.”

William O’Carroll reportedly was last sighted by security cameras in several locations aboard the cruise ship prior to the incident.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received notification of the incident from the Horizon at approximately 5a.m. Monday.  A Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched and the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond was diverted to search.

Since the search began Monday morning, Coast Guard rescue crews conducted 12 air and surface searches covering an area of approximate 1,265 square nautical miles, an area approximately one third the size of Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard assets and rescue crews involved in the search are:

* MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

* The Coast Guard Cutter Drummond, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

* A 33-foot Special Purpose Craft Law-Enforcement vessel from Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan and one from Coast Guard Boat Station St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

* A Civil Air Patrol and a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft.

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