Tracie Green and her fiance Cameron George were on board the Carnival Fantasy on its way back to the port of Mobile after a trip to the Cozumel, when a passenger noticed something unusual in the water and alerted crew members.
According to the Coast Guard Sector Mobile, they received a report from the ship at 5:35 p.m. Wednesday that a man with dark hair, wearing a red shirt was seen floating face down in the water roughly 157 nautical miles off of Pensacola, Florida.
“We noticed on the monitor that the ship had turned around and appeared to be traveling back to Mexico. That’s when I went out on my balcony to see exactly what was going on. I noticed the ropes untied and ready to go and the rescue boat. The captain and the crew members had their binoculars checking out the windows,” George said.
The cruise ship conducted searches in the area for nearly two hours while George, Green and other passengers watched from the deck of the ship.
“We did get updates from the cruise director that they were looking for an object in the water. They didn’t specify what it was. Of course, us having gone on several cruises before, we know that a ship doesn’t turn around unless someone’s fallen overboard or someone’s been spotted in the water,” George said.
On Thursday, the Coast Guard suspended its search efforts which included a HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile.
“It’s eerie being out in the middle of the ocean like that. You don’t see anything and you don’t know exactly what’s going on, and you just want to make sure your group is safe,” Cameron said, adding that the experience hasn’t deterred them from going on another cruise again soon.