Coast Guard Suspends Search for Fort Stewart Soldier
Soldier apparently jumped from the deck of Carnival cruise ship Tuesday
The Coast Guard on Wednesday suspended its search for a Fort Stewart soldier who apparently jumped from the deck of a Carnival cruise ship, according to a Coast Guard press release.
Sgt. Ronald Kemp, 31, was reported missing from the Carnival cruise ship Fascination Tueday immediately after Carnival crew members witnessed him jump overboard.
According to the Coast Guard release, a 35-hour search for Kemp was conducted, covering 24 search patterns and 2,375 square miles. Four cutters, a lifeboat and a Coast Guard helicopter conducted the search, with assistance from two planes and a helicopter from the Air Force.
"The decision to suspend a search is always a difficult one for responders to make. Our deepest sympathies goes out to Mr. Kemp's family and loved ones," Cmdr. James Rush, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, said in a statement.
The Savannah Morning News reports that no suicide note was found after Kemp jumped overboard. The Coast Guard has not determined whether foul play or alcohol were factors in the incident.
Kemp is a field artilleryman with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, according to Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson. He has deployed twice and was assigned to Fort Stewart in 2010.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Kemp's family during this difficult time," Larson wrote in an email to Fort Stewart Patch. "Fort Stewart and the 3rd Infantry Division are providing support to his family."
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