Coast Guard Not Alerted for 15 Hours After Samantha Broberg Fell Into Gulf of Mexico
Samantha Broberg, a 33-year-old mother of four from Texas, fell off the deck of a Carnival cruise ship last week. The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday said it suspended its search for her, but many questions still remain.
According to Inside Edition, the Coast Guard wasn’t alerted until 15 hours after she plunged overboard into the Gulf of Mexico. The ship, the Carnival Liberty, returned to Galveston, Texas.
Broberg fell off the ship at 2 a.m. on Friday, May 13. The Coast Guard wasn’t notified until 5 p.m.
Carnival also said that no one saw Broberg fall. Her traveling companions raised an alarm about her disappearance at 9 a.m. when she wasn’t in her cabin.
“There were announcements every 30 minutes and then every 5 minutes—‘Would Samantha Broberg please report to the bursars station,'” passenger Jo Trizila, a Dallas resident on the cruise, told Inside Edition.
The ship and staff circulated a photo of Broberg at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“It was very somber, very concerning,” Trizila said. “There was a lot of talk wondering if there was a murder on board – something sinister.”
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She added: “Our steward came into our room, checked the closets, checked the bathroom, looked under the bed looked out on our balcony. I mean, they did a very thorough search,” according to NBC News.
“We knew it wasn’t going to end well when the last few updates the announcer said: ‘Would you please just keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.'”
Ship officials reviewed footage, which showed Broberg climbing on railing and falling backwards off the ship. They then called the Coast Guard.
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“We searched over 3,000 cumulative miles looking for Ms. Broberg or any signs of life,” Lt. Commander Mike Wolfe of the U.S. Coast Guard told the website. The Coast Guard deployed an aircraft from Mobile, Alabama, in attempt to locate her.
He said that she could have survived as long as 60 hours but “given the Gulf temperature this time of year could be up to 120 hours.”
The FBI was also called in on Monday to investigate her fall.
Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz told ABC News: “Based on the video analysis, we can confirm that it appears she climbed up and sat on a deck railing and subsequently fell backwards.”