An out of control party or tame pub crawl are some of the conflicting stories from cruise ship passengers of what went on before an Olympia man on board disappeared.
Jason Rappe, 42, and his wife Tina set off on a seven-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Saturday, Nov. 24. Their ship, the MS Eurodam operated by Holland America, was traveling from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Bahamas.
Rappe was reported missing early Thursday around 80 miles northwest of Puerto Rico.
The Coast Guard searched 2,000 miles of the ocean for 36 hours before calling off its search Friday. The ship returned to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday with still no sign of Rappe.
Since then, passengers have been blogging about a pub crawl that the Olympia man reportedly took part in the night before he vanished.
On South Florida’s Sun Sentinel website, one passenger writes: “It was definitely a frat party or spring break kind of atmosphere with shots being laid out on the bar…as I walked back to my room, it occurred to me that I would not be surprised to learn that someone had fallen overboard or otherwise hurt themselves or someone else. Lo and behold in the middle of the night came the announcement that Mr. Rappe was missing."
Others, including a 65-year-old passenger named Peg, say that wasn’t the case. She writes: “There were only four drinks served to each participant. Jason and his wife were having fun dancing at two of the stops and were enjoying themselves.”
Calls to Holland America about the pub crawl were not returned. In a prior release, the company stated: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the guest and his family.”