MIAMI – The Coast Guard searched Tuesday for a 21-year old man who was reported missing from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship during a trip from Cape Canaveral to the Bahamas.
Daniel Dipiero, of Augusto, Ohio, was reported missing around 11 a.m. Monday from the Mariner of the Seas. Dipiero's friends reported his disappearance Monday after realizing he had not slept in the cabin they shared, Royal Caribbean International spokesman Michael Sheehan said in a statement.
A review of ship camera footage last showed Dipiero around 2:15 a.m. Monday on the fourth deck, leaning on a rail near the front of the ship, Coast Guard Petty Officer Dana Warr said.
The Bahamian Coast Guard and Royal Caribbean officials were helping search for Dipiero. The FBI and the man's family were also notified, according to the cruise line.
"We are determined to do everything we can to assist the authorities in searching for this young man," Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein said.
Warr said the Coast Guard received the "man overboard" report around 7 p.m.
"I don't know why the eight-hour difference," he said.
Sheehan said Royal Caribbean waited to alert the Coast Guard because it first wanted to make sure the missing passenger was not on board the Mariner, which can carry up to 3,100 passengers, or on the company's private Coco Cay island, where the ship docked Monday.
"It takes time to determine the person isn't on ship or on a known location," he said.
Warr said bad weather and the fast-approaching darkness made it impossible to launch an aerial search Monday evening. A C-130 airplane took off early Tuesday and followed along the cruise ship's path. He said the 120-mile stretch and the choppy seas made a boat search too difficult.
Warr said the Coast Guard would also drop data buoys with Global Positioning System capability to determine possible drift that might have moved Dipiero off the ship's course.
The cruise line is owned by Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.