Canadian Man Feared Dead After Going Overboard on Cruise
(MIAMI) — It’s unlikely that the Canadian man who went overboard near the Puerto Rican coast while on a Royal Caribbean cruise is still alive, authorities said Monday.
Tien Phuoc Nguyen, 26, was with his family aboard the ship Adventures of the Seas Saturday, en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, when fellow passengers reported seeing him go overboard.
The captain turned the vessel around and the U.S. Coast Guard quickly launched a search that evening, but Nguyen has not yet been located.
“I doubt [that he's alive]. Those are very rough seas in that area, lots of sharks in that area, too,” FBI San Juan Office Public Information Officer Moises Quinones told ABC News. “I doubt it, but hopefully we will find him.”
The investigation is ongoing and the FBI is trying to determine exactly what caused Nguyen to go overboard, Quinones said.
“We are looking into whether he jumped, or whether it was an accident, or whether he committed suicide, or whether someone pushed him,” he said.
The ship’s closed-circuit TV cameras caught Nyugen going overboard, according to the Norwegian-American, Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Nguyen’s family is being updated on the search and is back in Canada. “They are doing fine,” Quinones said.
The area in which Nguyen went overboard is called the Mona Passage, a strait located between Hispaniola (Dominican Republic- Haiti) and Puerto Rico. It is a popular passage for Dominican nationals being smuggled to Puerto Rico en route to the U.S. mainland.
Despite the dangerous sea conditions, the U.S. Coast Guard is continuing its search for Nguyen with helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and cutters, with the hope of finding him alive, Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer Ricardo Castrodad said.
“If the Coast Guard is searching,” he explained, “they are searching always with the possibility of finding survivors. There is no such thing as a Coast Guard search looking to find someone who is confirmed deceased.”
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