PHOTO: A United States Coast Guard helicopter. (photo via Flickr/Matt Hecht)
The U.S. Coast Guard has launched a search for a Florida man who fell overboard on a cruise ship near Cuba early Wednesday morning.
According to the Sun Sentinel, 23-year-old Brandon Paul of Floral City went overboard on the eighth deck of Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Victory at approximately 3 a.m. when the ship was roughly 33 miles northwest of Pinar del Rio, Cuba.
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen told Local10.com that the ship immediately reversed course and the crew launched a search-and-rescue operation. Shortly after, the Coast Guard sent an airplane and a cutter to the search area.
The Rockland County Times reported that a life jacket was thrown in the vicinity of where the man was thought to be. However, the jacket was still seen floating by itself several hours later.
The ship was in the midst of a four-day cruise traveling from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico. It departed Miami Monday.
Citing an eyewitness onboard the ship, the Times reported Carnival has decided to cancel the scheduled stop in Cozumel.