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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 10:36 GMT
OAP goes missing from cruise ship
Celebrity Century
The Celebrity Century left Madeira on Wednesday
The search for a Scottish pensioner who has vanished from a cruise ship is focusing on the vessel.

James Ewan, 73, of Burntisland, Fife, was reported missing on Wednesday after stewards on the Celebrity Century, found he had not used his cabin.

The ship was going from Spain to the US and had recently docked at Madeira.

A spokesman for the ship's operator said they were reviewing CCTV tapes and talking to passengers who might have been in contact with Mr Ewan.

Susan Hooper, a spokeswoman for the ship's owner, Royal Caribbean Cruises, said the ship had retraced its path to look for the pensioner but after several hours the coastguard took over the search.

She said the sea search had now been called off.

Sea search

The ship left Madeira on Wednesday, but logs indicated Mr Ewan had not disembarked there.

The liner was on a 14-night transatlantic cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to Miami, which began on Friday 27 October. It is now continuing on its route.

It was instructed and recommended by Portuguese maritime police to retrace the course of the ship's path of the previous day
Susan Hooper
Royal Caribbean Cruises

Ms Hooper told BBC Radio Scotland: "The ship's stewards went into his room on 1 November, noticed it hadn't been used and reported that there were possible issues at the end of that day.

"We have an identity card system on the ship which would show whether he's actually disembarked or not and they were in port at Madeira in Portugal on 1 November and it showed that he had not actually left the ship.

"It was instructed and recommended by Portuguese maritime police to retrace the course of the ship's path of the previous day and to make public announcements to make sure he wasn't in a place that we weren't able to know, then it continued on its course to Miami."

The British Embassy authorities, Portuguese maritime police, Bahamian maritime authorities, and the FBI were notified, as is procedure in such cases.

Maritime police in Gibraltar and Spain have also been alerted. Authorities in the Bahamas had to be told because the ship flies the Bahamian flag.

A man identified by Mr Ewan as his next of kin has been informed of his disappearance.


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