Video: Witness: Cruise ship employee swept away in wind news services
updated 1/2/2009 11:33:27 AM ET 2009-01-02T16:33:27

For the second time in several days, the U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a person missing from a cruise ship.

A cruise ship employee fell off the Carnival Sensation shortly after midnight on New Year's Day. The man is a member of the entertainment staff, and was off-duty, according to a statement released by Carnival.

Six other crew members saw the man fall and said it was clearly an accident.

Helicopters and patrol boats were searching the Atlantic Ocean east of Vero Beach. The cruise ship initially helped with the search but has returned to port.

The cruise was returning to Port Canaveral after a four-day Bahamas cruise that started Sunday.

Second in a week
The man — who has not been identified by authorities or by the cruise line — was the second person to go overboard on a cruise ship in a week. Jennifer Ellis-Seitz, 36, was reported missing from the Norwegian Pearl off Cancun, Mexico, last Friday. She has not been found, and that search has been called off.

The Carnival incident was reported to cruise officials by co-workers around 12:50 a.m. Ship personnel contacted the Coast Guard for assistance and started a search for the employee.

Coast Guard search and rescue efforts in Miami and Fort Pierce are using one plane, two helicopters, two 87-foot cutters and a 33-foot response boat.

The Norwegian Pearl returned to Miami on Sunday after its seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. The Coast Guard reported images from a ship surveillance camera of someone falling from the ship about 8 p.m. Dec. 25. Raymond Seitz reported his wife missing shortly before 4 a.m. last Friday.

Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise operator, is based in Miami.

WFLA's Marilyn Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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