RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A fun vacation quickly turned into tragedy after a Virginia man fell overboard off a Carnival Cruise ship over the weekend.
Ronnie Peale Jr. from New Hope, Virginia has been lost at sea since Monday, which has caused some serious concern for his loved ones.
“My son was a wonderful man,” Ronnie Peale Jr.’s mother, Linda Peale, said while describing her son.
His mother said he loves music, meeting new people and his babies are his two dogs.
Ronnie Peale was traveling onboard Carnival Magic for a cruise to the Bahamas with his partner, Jennilyn Blosser, and some of her family members.
“It was just a special time because he’d never been on a cruise,” Linda Peale said.
But soon, what was once a dream vacation quickly turned into a nightmare. Linda Peale says she knew something was wrong when her son never called to check on his dogs like he did every day, at least three times a day.
Back on the ship, Blosser also quickly knew something wasn’t right.
“I just woke up 11:30 in the morning [on Monday] and he wasn’t there,” Blosser said. “I spent my whole day trying to find him,”
Blosser believes that Ronnie Peale falling overboard was an accident. In the ship’s security footage, he could be seen leaning over the railing of his room’s balcony right before he fell over around 4 a.m. Monday morning.
“He’d been drinking all night,” Blosser said. “I don’t know if he was like leaning over trying to puke or what happened, but they said that it’s not like he was like jumping, like you know, it wasn’t like that at all.”
The Coast Guard has been searching for Ronnie Peale 186 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida since Monday.
Linda Peale said while she waits for answers, she’s holding onto some comforting words from a Coast Guard member.
“One thing that will keep a person alive is the will to live,” Peale said. “We’re keeping on that until we [hear] different.”