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Coast Guard ends search for missing cruise ship crewmember

By SUZANNE CARLSON | The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas | Published: May 18, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard has ended the search for a crew member of the MSC Seaside who fell overboard early Wednesday.

The crewmember was identified as Michael M. Majaba, 37, of the Philipines, according to U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of Majaba and the MSC Seaside crew during this difficult time," Capt. Eric King, Sector San Juan commander, said in a press release.

Majaba went overboard from the seventh deck of the Maltese-flagged cruise ship at around 1 a.m. Wednesday, and Coast Guard rescue crews ended the search at around 8 p.m, Castrodad said. He went into the sea approximately 8 nautical miles southeast of St. Thomas.

Coast Guard crews searched with multiple surface and air assets and "basically searched throughout the day," completing eight searches, including five air searches and three surface sweeps, covering an area of approximately 1,216-square nautical miles, Castrodad said.

Search assets included a C-130 aircraft from Air Station Clearwater in Florida, a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement boat from Boat Forces Detachment St. Thomas, two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Borinquen, and the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence, a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter home-ported in Port Canaveral, Fla.

The motor tanker Rose and the Carnival Glory cruise ship also assisted in the search alongside the MSC Seaside, which was traveling from St. Maarten to San Juan when the incident occurred.

Castrodad said the MSC Seaside stayed in the area to continue searching for the lost crew member and has altered its itinerary to skip the port call in Puerto Rico and bring passengers directly to their next stop in the Bahamas.

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