Ronnie Peale Jr., 35, fell from his balcony railing Monday, Carnival said.
The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Virginia man who fell from a cruise ship balcony last week.
Ronnie Peale Jr., 35, went aboard from a Carnival Magic cruise ship traveling off the coast of Florida on Monday, the Coast Guard said.
After searching more than 5,171 square miles for 60 hours, the Coast Guard said Wednesday night it had suspended search efforts for Peale.
“The decision to suspend active search efforts pending further development was not one we took lightly,” Coast Guard District Seven search and rescue mission coordinator Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Hooper said in a statement. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Peale’s family and friends.”
Carnival Cruise Lines personnel contacted Coast Guard watchers at 6:36 p.m. Monday to report that a passenger had fallen off the ship, which was 186 miles east of Jacksonville, the Coast Guard said.
Peale’s companion reported him missing late Monday afternoon and “a preliminary review of closed circuit security footage confirms that he leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony and fell into the water at approximately 4 :10 a.m. Monday,” Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement to ABC News.
His partner, Jennilyn Blosser, told the Richmond ABC affiliate WRIC who was seen in the footage leaning against the railing and apparently fell by accident.
“It’s not like he’s jumping, you know, it’s not like that,” Blosser told the station.
Blosser said he woke up at 11:30 that morning and spent hours looking for Peale. His mother, Linda Peale, told WRIC she knew something was wrong when her son didn’t call that day to check on his dogs.
Peale, from New Hope, Virginia, was on her first cruise and was celebrating Blosser’s birthday with her family, Linda Peale said.
She described her son as “full of life” and someone who loved old cars, gardening and cooking.
“My son is a wonderful person,” Linda Peale told WRIC.