UPDATE: Search Suspended for Missing Cruise Ship WorkerJanuary 7, 2014, 3:08 PM HST (Updated January 8, 2014, 5:49 PM)
***Updated 5:49 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8.***
After searching more than 4,900 square miles of the Central Pacific, the Coast Guard this afternoon called off the search for a member of a cruise ship’s crew that had jumped overboard.
“Suspending a search is always an incredibly difficult decision to make,” said Lt. Justin Gear, a command duty officer of the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center.
“It’s done with much deliberation and after a concerted effort to ensure that the Coast Guard has conducted a thorough search and saturated all probable locations for a survivor,” Gear said. “We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and loved ones.”
The 34-year-old Filipino worker was reported overboard from the Grand Princess at midnight Monday.
A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said video cameras aboard the ship indicted that the man had jumped.
Posted 10:08 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8:
A search continued today for a member of the crew missing from the Grand Princess cruise liner more than 1,000 miles northeast of Hilo.
Closed-circuit video cameras confirmed that the 34-year-old man jumped off the ship, a spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said.
At the time, the Grand Princess was on the third day of a 15-day roundtrip cruise to Hawaii. It was scheduled to arrive in Hilo on Thursday.
The ship left San Francisco with 2,607 passengers and 1,088 crew.
The Coast Guard this morning sent another HC-130 Hercules aircraft from the Barber’s Point Air Station on Oahu to assist in the search.
Posted 3:08 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7:
A search is underway for a crew member reported overboard from a cruise ship bound for Hilo.
The Coast Guard was notified at about midnight that the 34-year-old Filipino national was missing from the Grand Princess located approximately 1,100 miles northeast of Hilo.
The worker was last seen at 10:26 p.m. Monday.
The cruise ship reversed its course and is searching for the crew member with help from another Princess Cruises’ vessel, the Star Princess, and the container ship Horizon Reliance.
Assisting in the search was an HC-130 Hercules and its crew from the Coast Guard’s Air Station Barber’s Point on Oahu.
Weather conditions on the scene included 20-mph winds, 7-foot seas and a water temperature of about 70 degrees, the Coast Guard said.
The cruise liner was scheduled to arrive at Hilo Harbor on Thursday.
The Grand Princess was the focus of a three-day search in November after a female passenger apparently intentionally jumped off the ship. The 54-year-old woman was never found.