A Virginia man taking his first cruise to celebrate his fiancée’s birthday leaned over the railing of his stateroom balcony in the middle of the night and plunged into the ocean.
Ronnie Lee Peale Jr., 35, has not been recovered and rescue crews were still looking for him 185 miles off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, when the Carnival Magic returned to port in Norfolk on Tuesday.
Peale’s partner, Jennilyn Blosser, reported him missing on Monday afternoon. A search of the 1,004-foot-long ship turned up no sign of him. That’s when ship staff looked at security video and saw his fall.
“This was Ronnie’s first cruise and thankfully he had a great time and made plenty of friends,” Blosser wrote in a GoFundMe. “He is our social butterfly that was always on the move and loved to make friends with everyone. The cruise was definitely a place he enjoyed.
“I never could of imagine something like this could happen. Devastated to say the least,” she wrote.
Fellow passengers disembarking at Norfolk told local outlet WTKR they only learned a man had gone overboard from the cruise’s Facebook page.
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