Woman Falls Off Cruise Ship in Mediterranean, Search Called Off

June 9, 2019 Updated: June 9, 2019

A cruise-ship passenger reportedly went overboard on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship in the Mediterranean Sea while on a voyage from France to Spain, officials said on June 9.

A spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that the woman fell overboard hours after the ship left Cannes, France.

“On the early morning of June 8, a report was made that an adult female guest went overboard while the ship was sailing from Cannes, France, to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The authorities were immediately notified and a search and rescue operation ensued. Sadly, the guest has not yet been found. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family during this difficult time,” a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson told the news outlet.

The company said on Sunday via Twitter the search has been called off, and the woman had not been located.

The missing woman is a 63-year-old Korean national, sources told the news outlet.

She was traveling with her husband. The report said she left her cabin at around 1 a.m. to get some fresh air.

Her husband reported her missing when he woke up and found she wasn’t in the cabin.

According to The Sun, passengers stood along the ship’s railing, looking for the woman. Helicopters, planes, and boats joined the search.

The captain told passengers that the woman apparently could not swim, Dr. Kyjuan Brown told The Sun.

“Given the conditions, it’s unlikely she would have survived,” Brown said. “Everyone felt for the family. It’s horrible to go on vacation and leave without a family member.”

Another tourist, Angela Elliott, told the news outlet that officials “did everything they could.”

“Staff eventually just turned the music on and told us to go … and get a drink and after four hours, we were on our way again. It was like it had almost been forgotten about,” Fox News reported another British tourist, Claire Murphy, quoting The Sun as saying.

Samantha Fox, of Long Island, New York, told NBC News that they were told on June 8 about the missing passenger. They were informed that the cruise would also not be going to its next scheduled stop.

“We were turning around and heading back to where they believe the missing passenger was last seen,” Fox said. “When we arrived at the spot, they urged passengers to look out in the water for a person with pink pajamas.”

“[The captain] told us she had last been seen in pink pajamas. He did not tell us her age or any other details,” Rebekah Sanderlin, another passenger, told Weather.com. “Thousands of passengers stood at the rails looking for hours. We have stayed in that location, not moving, all day. There are some planes flying overhead but I do not see any other ships or boats.”

Miguel Chicon, head of Maritime search and rescue in Palma de Mallorca, added to ABC that the crew of the cruise checked cameras to see where the woman went overboard. They later confirmed that she had.

The water in the area is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, Chicon stated.

Last year, a British woman was pulled from the Adriatic Sea after she fell overboard on a Norwegian Cruise ship. She was treading water for about 10 hours before rescuers found her.

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