Search Ends for Missing Royal Caribbean Passenger

The United States Coast Guard has suspended the search for a passenger who fell overboard from the Independence of the Seas cruise ship on December 22.

The search was suspended at 5:44 p.m. on Friday, after the Coast Guard’s 7th District command center coordinated 38 hours of searching.

Identified as the 22-year-old Nathaniel Skokan, the passenger was reportedly seen going overboard from the cruise ship’s 12th deck.

At the time of the incident, the vessel, owned by Miami-based cruise company Royal Caribbean, was sailing some 33 miles southeast of Key Largo.

The Independence of the Seas was en route to Port Everglades. The ship had departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 17, making port calls to Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

The USCG said that Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews, Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews, the Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell crew and Coast Guard Station Islamorada boat crews covered a combined search area totaling around 4,574 square miles.

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