Missing cruise ship jumper identified as Army sergeant

31-year-old leaped from 10th-floor deck of Carnival Fascination

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PONCE INLET, Fla. - The man who authorities say jumped from the Carnival Fascination cruise ship near Ponce Inlet has been identified as an Army sergeant out of Fort Stewart, Ga.

Officials say a security guard aboard the Carnival Fascination saw the man, identified as Sgt. Ronald Kemp based in Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, leap into the Atlantic Ocean from a 10th-floor deck early Tuesday. Officials say he fell about 87 feet into the water.

Crew members aboard the cruise ship reported the incident to the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday.

The Coast Guard used three ships, a motor life boat and a helicopter to search the waters off Ponce Inlet for Kemp.  The U.S. Air Force later joined the search, which was suspended on Wednesday.

The Fascination departed the cruise terminal in Jacksonville, Fla., around 5 p.m. Monday en route to Key West.

No further details were immediately available.

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