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Eyewitness News exclusive: Passenger overboard off Atlantis cruise

Eyewitness News has learned a passenger has fallen overboard off a Royal Caribbean Atlantis cruise liner headed back to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. (Sean Patrick Lewis)

February 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Eyewitness News has learned a passenger has fallen overboard from an Atlantis cruise off the coast of Mexico on Friday.

ABC7 photojournalist Sean Patrick Lewis aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Allure of the Seas said passengers were awakened Friday morning by an emergency announcement, saying a man was believed to be overboard.

The ship's captain confirmed the incident to passengers and said all rescue attempts were being made.

An emergency assembly was called so passengers could be counted.

In a statement released Friday, Royal Caribbean said a passenger witnessed another passenger going overboard at about 7 a.m. According to the statement, footage from the ship's closed-circuit camera showed the passenger, a 30-year-old British man, going over the balcony railing in his stateroom.

The Mexican Coast Guard and Navy conducted a search for the missing passenger for several hours to no avail. At about 9:30 a.m., the ship continued on its original route to Cozumel, Mexico.

Royal Caribbean officials said its care team is providing support to the passenger's family.

The ship was on its way back to port in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It had scheduled stops at Labadee, Haiti, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.