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Originally published Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM

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Cruise passenger believed to have fallen off ship near Caymans


Associated Press

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Police in the Cayman Islands said they suspect a Canadian cruise ship passenger who recently vanished may have fallen off the boat as search crews scoured waters around the British Caribbean territory.

Police said they believe the unidentified 65-year-old man may have fallen around dawn on Tuesday about 13 miles northwest of Grand Cayman. Police said they interviewed staff and witnesses aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruises ship and were still investigating the disappearance.

“The Port Authority broadcast an appeal to all marine traffic to be on the lookout for the missing passenger,” police said in a statement.

The man’s wife had reported him missing Tuesday morning as the Independence of the Seas ship prepared to dock at George Town Harbor.

Tracy Quan, a spokeswoman for Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, said Wednesday the investigation was turned over to local authorities before the cruise ship departed and resumed its route. She said the man’s wife disembarked in Grand Cayman.

Police said the wife told them they went to bed around 1 a.m. Tuesday but that he was gone when she woke up about six hours later.

Authorities said they searched the 15-deck, 1,112-foot-long craft and reviewed closed-circuit camera footage before the ship departed. The ship is on a six-night cruise that departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday and has port calls in Jamaica and Haiti. It can accommodate 4,375 guests and more than 1,300 crew members.

The man is the second Canadian passenger who has gone missing from a Royal Caribbean ship in recent days.

On Saturday, 26-year-old Tien Phuoc Nguyen jumped from the Adventures of the Seas near a tiny Puerto Rican island on the last night of a weeklong Caribbean cruise with his family. The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for him on Monday.



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