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Passenger Missing From Cruise Ship

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This just in:

"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 54-year-old passenger vanished as a ship returned home from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas, and the Coast Guard launched a search.

A search boat and helicopter scoured 340 square miles off Florida and in the St. Johns River for Glen Sherridan of Richmond, Va. His wife, Gloria, reported him missing Thursday when she could not find him after the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Celebration docked.

The ship's crew conducted a full search to make sure Sherridan wasn't still on board. The vessel's electronic exit and entry program showed the man did not leave the ship after it docked in Jacksonville, Carnival said.

Sherridan's wife last saw her husband at 1:30 a.m. Thursday. She said he was an early riser and might have fallen overboard as early as 4 a.m., said Coast Guard Petty Officer Bobby Nash.

Nash said the ship then would have been about 13 miles off the northeast Florida coast, heading for the St. Johns River and Jacksonville.

Vance Gulliksen, a Carnival spokesman, said Friday that it was very unusual for a passenger to be reported missing, but didn't have an exact number. He said Carnival carries about 3 million passengers a year.

The Celebration, which can carry nearly 1,500 passengers, sailed back to the Bahamas with a fresh load of passengers later Thursday.

Nash said the Coast Guard would decide later Friday whether to continue the search by a patrol boat and a helicopter crew. "


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I just read that the search has been suspended. My condolences to the family.

Cruise Ship Passenger Missing

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One can definitely feel for the family especially during the holiday season.

My question is from my mother who will be taking her first cruise next July: How easy is it really to fall over board? She has visions of just flipping over a railing or down a stairs into the ocean. I assured her it was mostly doing riskier things like a jogging track area at night, or dark stairs.

Can anyone help reassure other cruisers regarding the safety? Thanks

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Buffetfan - the only way anyone call fall overboard is to climb up onto the rails and lose their balance or jump. They are waist to chest high on me (I'm 5'4") and have no fear of falling overboard as long as I am using common sense (no sitting on the rail, climbing up on them, avoiding them when I am inebriated - which is very rare on a cruise ship, trying to jump from one balcony to another).

Unless your mother plans on sitting on the rail or doing any of the above and forgets common sense, she will be fine. Even the jogging track has his rails on it - and all stairways the passengers have access to have lights on them (even the outside ones.)

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