The US Coast Guard has called off its search for an Australian man believed to have fallen overboard from a cruise ship traveling from Brisbane to Hawaii.
The man was reported missing from the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship late on Tuesday night, about 500 miles (805 kilometers) south of Kailua Kona, Big Island.
The cruise ship remained on scene for about two hours but resumed its journey to Hawaii when no trace of him was found, the US Coast Guard said in a statement.
A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircrew took up the search over six hours but a decision was made to suspend the aerial survey after consulting with the man’s family.
“After reviewing all relevant information of the case and discussing it with the next of kin, the Coast Guard has made the difficult decision to suspend the active search for the passenger aboard the Quantum of the Seas,” said Kevin Cooper, a search and rescue mission coordinator for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu.
Earlier, the ship’s owner, Royal Caribbean issued a statement confirming a passenger was missing.
“While on its trans-pacific sailing, a guest onboard Quantum of the Seas went overboard,” the company said in a statement, according to CNN affiliate Nine News.
“The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue operation and is working closely with local authorities,” it added.
A passenger on board the vessel, Georgina Thompson, told Nine News she and her husband were in bed when they heard the call “Oscar, oscar, oscar” – the cruise ship line’s code for “man overboard.”
“There were lights, you know, the big lights shining on the ocean,” she said.
Quantum of the Seas is a 16-day voyage which departed from Brisbane, Australia on April 12 and is scheduled to reached Honolulu, Hawaii on April 28.
The vessel made its maiden voyage in 2014 from Southampton to New York, and was at the time branded as the “world’s smartest cruise ship” with robot waiters and features skydiving on deck.
It is 16 stories high and has room for 4,500 passengers and a 1,500-strong crew, according to the cruise company’s website.