BOSTON (CBS) — Coast Guard Rescue crews searched Sunday for a man who fell overboard from a ferry late Saturday night.
Coast Guard Spokesperson Ross Ruddell said the man fell from the third deck of the Provincetown II ferry not far from Castle Island.
The ferry was part of a country music cruise operated by Bay State Cruise Company. The company identified the missing man as a 41-year-old.
The search for the man was suspended at 5:38 p.m., the Coast Guard said.
“The deep sadness that an event like this evokes in us and our crew is indescribable,” Mike Glasfeld, owner of Bay State Cruises said in a statement released Sunday morning.
The passenger who fell was aboard with his girlfriend.
“Our hearts and blessings are with those close to the gentleman who has gone missing. We are moved beyond words by the emotions of the event. There are no words to adequately describe our sympathies,” Glasfeld said.
Bay State Cruises said interviews with several witnesses aboard the vessel appear to indicate the man had been engaging in horseplay when he fell from the vessel.
“Two passengers, positioned immediately adjacent to railing from which the man fell, reported trying to grab at the man to stop him from an athletic leap up, scaling the ship’s railings,” the cruise company said. (Continued…)
According to Bay State Cruise Company, a vessel staff member who was standing 10-15 feet away from the passenger also saw the man jumping onto the railing and moved quickly to stop the passenger, but wasn’t able to stop him.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
Jonathan Sikora was on the cruise at the time.
“A woman dancing right next to them on the top deck said it was really traumatic,” Sikora said. “She met them and he fell off but she didn’t really see all of it.”
After it happened, Sikora said the boat remained in the harbor with its lights on past midnight. The crew and passengers used spotlights to try to find the man.
Two boat crews, a Jayhawk Helicopter and state and local agencies searched throughout the night.
Crews resumed searching Sunday morning.
“We are using a variety of Coast Guard, State and local agencies in the search,” said Cmdr. Sean Carroll, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Boston. “This is a significant, multi-agency effort.”
At the time of the incident, there were 370 passengers and 21 staff onboard the ferry. The Provincetown II has a passenger capacity of more than 1,000 passengers.
On Sunday, the air temperature was 74 degrees and the water was 65 degrees.