A 73-year-old man was seen falling from the Seven Seas Mariner cruise ship near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

A 73-year-old man was seen falling from the Seven Seas Mariner cruise ship near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Man dies after fall from cruise ship in Strait

By Nicole Crescenzi

Victoria News

NEAH BAY — A man who fell from the eighth-deck balcony of a cruise ship near Neah Bay has died, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew recovered the unresponsive man from the water near the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday afternoon and transferred him to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles where he was later pronounced deceased. He was 73. He was not identified.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim who were affected by this tragedy,” said Capt. M.M. Balding, Sector Puget Sound commanding officer.

“Any time we are unable to accomplish our goal of saving lives, we are deeply saddened. Our thoughts are with them in their time of grief.”

U.S. Coast Guard crews from Neah Bay and Port Angeles, along with Victoria’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC), worked together in the search for the man who potentially fell from the cruise ship Seven Seas Mariner that was bound for Victoria. The ship was near Cape Flattery, around the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Multiple Coast Guard crews searched for a passenger who potentially fell off of a cruise ship near Cape Flattery, around the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. (Google Maps)

The man was reported missing when his wife woke up around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday by a breeze coming from the balcony door, which was cracked open. She had last seen him at 4 a.m.

The Coast Guard Pacific Northwest Twitter account originally released a statement saying that a captain from the ship confirmed that a video showed the passenger jumping from an eighth-deck balcony at 4:15 a.m.

In an update, the Coast Guard said there was no indication that the man jumped, or why he went overboard.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

The U.S. Coast Guard had crews from Station Neah Bay and an air crew from Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles searching for the man. Members of Victoria’s JRCC assisted with its assets.

A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles aircrew, two Station Neah Bay boat crews, the Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo crew and a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter crew thoroughly searched the area before finding the man.

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Peninsula Daily News reporter Jesse Major contributed to this report.

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