Search continues for Catalina Express passenger who went overboard; crew member says man jumped

The search for a Catalina Express passenger who went overboard Thursday evening near the coast of Long Beach is continuing Friday morning.

The Coast Guard is back in the water and expected to continue their search throughout the day for the missing passenger, Long Beach Fire Department spokesperson Brian Fisk said Friday.

The incident aboard the Jet Cat Express was reported just before 6 p.m. Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The passenger was described by authorities as a 24-year-old Black man wearing a white sweatshirt.

A crew member said the man was seen jumping off the boat, Fisk confirmed Friday.

Catalina Express President Greg Bombard also gave an interview about what happened Thursday night.

“Deckhands actually saw some of it,” Bombard said. “When they saw him hit the water, they threw a life ring over and here we are looking for him.”

Bombard said this is the first time anything like this has happened in the 40 years he’s been in business.

Sky5 was over the scene as the Coast Guard, L.A. County Lifeguards, a dive team and a helicopter responded to look for the man.

The boat circled the area for about an hour before returning to shore, where it was met by distraught family members.

The Jet Cat Express vessel operates as a privately owned passenger ferry, transporting passengers from the Los Angeles area to Santa Catalina Island.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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