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Search underway for Carnival Cruise passenger who went overboard near Cuba

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MIAMI, Fla. – The Coast Guard announced Thursday that they are searching for a missing cruise ship passenger.

The search is taking place just north of Cuba.

Coast Guard crews are looking for  23-year-old Brandon Paul who they say fell off the Carnival Victory 33 miles northwest of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba.

Paul, a resident of Florida, went overboard from the eighth deck of the cruise shop around 3 a.m., Wednesday morning.

The cruise ship launched a search boat and contacted watch standers at the Seventh Coast Guard District Command Center, the Coast Guard said.

The watch standers directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton to search for Paul.

Additionally, the cruise ship continues to search on scene and because it is so close to Cuba, Cuban search teams and authorities have launched crews to help.