The Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday night for a 14-year-old Canadian boy believed to have jumped from a cruise ship after an argument with his parents.
The boy, Grant Medeiros, disappeared Friday night, leaving only his tennis shoes and glasses on deck, Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Aitkins said. The boy had previously threatened to jump.
“Nobody saw him jump overboard, nobody saw him in the water. We are going on a report that he is missing from the boat,” Aitkins said.
After a search of the ship, the boy’s parents, Gail and Octavio Medeiros, returned to their cabin and found a note and their son’s necklace with a crucifix.
The note said “something having to do with the fight, the argument they apparently had before he was missing. I think it alluded to (suicide),” Aitkins said.
The parents did not say what the argument was about.
The search was suspended late Saturday, said Coast Guard Lt. Ron Cone.
It was not immediately clear when, or if, it would resume.
The cruise Ship Regal Princess was returning from a weeklong Caribbean cruise.
It arrived in Fort Lauderdale early Saturday, after a three-hour delay as the Coast Guard searched in dark waters.
Aitkins said the parents were also traveling with another son and a daughter. The parents, from Saanich, British Columbia, said they last saw the boy at 10 p.m. Friday. The ship was about 12 miles offshore at the time.
Two thorough searches were conducted on the ship, which holds 1,590 passengers and 800 crew members. Princess Cruise spokesman Rick James said the boy was not on the boat “to the best of our knowledge.”
A Coast Guard helicopter searched a 170-square-mile area until 2:45 a.m. Saturday. A Coast Guard plane searched for several hours Saturday. The 110-foot cutter Baranof and another helicopter also looked for the boy.
Aitkins said a life ring, apparently from the Regal Princess, was found in Boca Raton, north of Miami. The Coast Guard was investigating.
“This is extremely rare to happen on a cruise ship,” James said from cruise line headquarters in Los Angeles.