updated 1/3/2009 11:47:09 AM ET 2009-01-03T16:47:09

The Coast Guard has called off the search for a cruise ship employee whose co-workers say fell overboard off Florida.

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The workers on the Carnival Sensation had reported the man falling overboard early Thursday. He was identified by the Coast Guard as 26-year-old Antonio Matabang from California.

Coast Guard Petty Officer James Harless says the search ended Friday night.

Helicopters and patrol boats covered more than 3,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean east of Vero Beach.

Carnival has said Matabang was a member of the entertainment staff. Six other crew members saw him fall and said it was clearly an accident.

Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise operator, is based in Miami. The ship was returning from the Bahamas and is now back at Port Canaveral.

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