A search is underway for a male passenger who jumped overboard from the Carnival Mardi Gras early Saturday morning, the cruise line and Coast Guard confirmed to USA TODAY. The ship was returning home to Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida.
The man jumped when the ship was still about 55 miles east of Port Canaveral, David Micallef, a Coast Guard spokesman, told USA TODAY.
He said the Mardi Gras and another Carnival ship, Elation, began searching immediately. The Coast Guard brought in two cutters, the Heron and Ibis, as well as fixed-wing aircraft to continue the search. It was still underway Saturday afternoon.
“The ship’s crew participated in search and rescue efforts until the ship was released by the U.S. Coast Guard, which continues the search. The Carnival Care Team is supporting the guest’s family. Mardi Gras arrived to Port Canaveral and will be sailing its next itinerary,” the cruise line said in a statement.
Mardi Gras, Carnival’s flagship, began sailing Caribbean routes in the summer of 2021, after its launch was delayed for a season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was honored as the best new ship of 2021 by USA TODAY’s 10 Best Readers Choice Awards.