Cruise Ship

Carnival Elation

Incident Type

Passenger Death (overboard)

Date of Accident

23rd July 2023

Location of Accident

Approximately 95 NM east of Melbourne, FL (circa 30 mi south of Port Canaveral)

Total Number of Deaths


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On the 23rd July 2023, as the ship journeyed back to its homeport in Jacksonville, Florida, a distressing event unfolded. A 30-year-old male passenger, Mr. Jaylen Hill, was reported missing. Following extensive onboard searches and surveillance video analysis, Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that the individual had intentionally jumped overboard.

Details of the Incident

The absence of Mr. Jaylen Hill was initially reported by a fellow passenger, identified as his traveling companion, who grew concerned after not seeing him throughout the day. An immediate and thorough search onboard was conducted by the crew, but the attempts proved fruitless. The subsequent review of onboard CCTV and surveillance footage confirmed the grim reality: Mr. Hill had deliberately jumped overboard.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) was informed and immediately initiated a search and rescue operation. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the ship was given clearance to proceed with its journey.

Rescue Operations

The USCG deployed significant resources to search for Mr. Hill. Three major assets were engaged in the search efforts:

  • A Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft from Clearwater, FL
  • An EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Miami, FL
  • The CG Cutter Tarpon based in St Petersburg, FL

Despite the expansive search spanning approximately 60 hours, the efforts were halted on the 24th July 2023 with the somber conclusion that Mr. Hill’s body could not be located.

Operational Context

This incident marked a tragic end to the 4-day “The Bahamas Cruise” which spanned from July 20th to July 24th. The roundtrip voyage, originating and concluding at JAXPORT-Jacksonville, featured stops at prominent locations including Freeport on July 21st and Resorts World Bimini/Bailey Town on July 22nd.

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