The United States Coast Guard has ended its search for a female passenger who jumped off a Carnival
cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico.
A U.S. Coast Guard aircraft had been searching in the marked area where the woman jumped from her balcony into the sea, but called off its search after canvassing 2,514 square nautical miles.
“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,” said Chief Warrant Officer Tricia Eldredge, command duty officer at Sector New Orleans. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”
Passengers aboard the ship say the woman disappeared shortly after after the crew members tossed life preservers and a flare marking her position, according to local reports.
“The ship’s command immediately began search and rescue procedures, returned to the area near where the incident occurred and notified the U.S. Coast Guard. Carnival’s CARE team is providing support to the guest’s husband who was traveling with her, as well as her family,” Matt Lupoli, a spokesman for the Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement.
The Carnival Valor, the cruise ship involved in the incident, carries nearly 3,000 guests and 1,180 crew members, according to its website. The ship arrived at its home port of New Orleans on Thursday morning after a five-day cruise to Mexico, Lupoli said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report