After searching for more than 16 hours, the U.S. Coast Guard called off the search for a missing 23-year-old man who fell from a Carnival Cruise ship Wednesday morning.
By Thursday night, Coast Guard crews — with the help of Cuban search-and-rescue authorities — had covered nearly 3,500 square miles, to no avail.
The man, Brandon Paul, 23, from Floral City on Florida’s west coast, fell from the Carnival Victory’s eighth deck at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, 33 miles from Pinar Del Rio, Cuba.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Brandon Paul,” Chris Eddy, search and rescue mission coordinator, Seventh Coast Guard District Command Center, said in a news release. “Making the choice to suspend a search is never an easy decision and one the Coast Guard doesn’t take lightly, and despite our best efforts, we were unable to reunite Paul with his family.”