LONDON - The Queen Mary 2 has abandoned the search for a crewmember who went overboard off the coast of Newfoundland.
The Cunard cruise line said Sunday that the ship and the Canadian Coast Guard had conducted an extensive search after the crewmember was reported missing Saturday morning. The Queen Mary 2 retraced its course in hopes of finding the missing person but the search was abandoned after experts determined no one could have survived that long in the chilly Atlantic.
"We therefore have to presume that he died in the water," Cunard said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, which has been informed, as well as friends and his colleagues on board."
The company did not release the name, occupation or nationality of the missing crewmember.
A passenger, Konstantin Binder, tweeted that Capt. Kevin Oprey turned the ship around at 10:40 a.m. Saturday. The tweets suggest it took several hours from that time to return to the search area. Passengers were later called on deck and asked to look as Oprey said "every pair of eyes helps." Conditions were foggy, hampering the search.
"There are now hundreds of passengers and crew members on Deck 7 and on the balconies keeping an eye out," Binder tweeted.
Hours later, Binder said the search had failed. "The ship is turning again," he tweeted. "We're heading towards Canada. What a sad day. A man has lost his life. RIP."
The ship was traveling from Southampton to New York. It is due to stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Monday.