Update: Search Called Off for 63-Year-Old Woman Who Fell Overboard on Norwegian Cruise Ship

June 11, 2019 Updated: June 11, 2019

The search for a Norwegian Cruise Line passenger who went overboard over the weekend was called off, the firm said.

The passenger was identified as a 63-year-old Korean woman, and she went overboard while the vessel was going from Cannes, France, to Spain, reported Business Insider.

“Early morning on June 8, a 63-year-old Korean female guest went overboard while the ship was sailing from Cannes, France to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. As soon as the report was made, the authorities were notified and a search and rescue operation ensued,” Norwegian Cruise Line tweeted.

The passenger, however, was not found after about a day of searching, reported Business Insider.

“The search has now ceased, and sadly, the guest has not been found. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family during this difficult time,” the company added.

The Associated Press reported that she fell overboard while on the Norwegian Epic.

The Epic was in the port of Barcelona on June 9, the news agency added.

Passengers Speak Out

The passenger was last seen wearing pink pajamas, The Sun reported.

“Everyone was a bit bewildered. They asked everyone on board to help look for that person, so a lot of people were looking out of the windows or were on the edge of the ship but no one could see anything,” passenger Claire Murphy of England told the tabloid.

“It took us two hours to get back to the place where they were last seen,” she continued. “We stopped there for four hours to try and find the person.”

Weather conditions made it hard to search for the woman.

Stock image of a cruise ship. (Addesia/Pixabay)

“We were literally in the middle of the [Mediterranean sea]. It was really windy and it was very rocky,” Murphy said. “After a couple of hours a helicopter came … it was there for about ten minutes.”

“We were sat in one place being shafted about by the wind … eventually everyone gave up,” Murphy continued.

Another British passenger, Angela Elliott, said that a number of passengers tried looking for her.

“There were maybe a couple of hundred passengers looking for a while. I think in the end, most passengers sadly realized that there would not be much hope of her being found alive after all that time in the water,” The Sun quoted her as saying.

Other Incidents

The incident is the latest in as many as two dozen similar events since about 2000. According to Cruise Junkie, 340 people have gone overboard since 1995, averaging about 17 per year.

Many of those who go overboard are rescued, but some have presumably died.

In a high profile case, Samantha Broberg, 38, fell overboard while on a Carnival cruise ship in May 2016 while it was sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. “Unfortunately, it appears the guest may have gone overboard early this morning,” Carnival said in a statement at the time, according to News.com.au.

“Walking off the boat and realizing three of us went on and only two of us were getting off was a bit of a reality check,” her friend, Sarah, told Inside Edition.

“She herself had paid for 16 drinks and they’d also given her a free drink or more,” her husband, Karl, added Inside Editon.