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USCG Ends Search for Missing Cruise Passenger

Published Sep 19, 2012 8:53 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Coast Guard has ended the search for a 21-year-old woman from Bartlett, Tenn., who reportedly fell overboard off the cruise ship Allure of the Seas into the Atlantic, 47 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sunday night.

More than 2,300 square miles were searched by multiple Coast Guard search and rescue crews over a 46-hour period with no indication of a person in the water.

The following units and crews assisted in the search:

  • A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
  • An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • A C-130 fixed-wing aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber crew
  • MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., deployed to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) on Andros Island, Bahamas.

"It's always unfortunate when we have to suspend a search, because our main focus is to locate the individual and return her safely to her family," said Capt. Todd Lutes, 7th Coast Guard District chief of Inncident Management Branch. "Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of the missing woman."

Search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Miami were notified by the captain of the Allure of the Seas with the report of a missing woman passenger. Crewmembers aboard the Allure of the Seas searched the cruise ship for the woman and reported negative results.

Another passenger aboard the ship witnessed the woman going overboard, and a surveillance camera onboard also caught the fall. The FBI is investigating what caused the 21-year-old woman to fall overboard.

The Allure of the Seas skipped its stop in Nassau because of the search. It is due Wednesday in St. Maarten.

Anyone with more information on the missing person in the water is asked to contact 7th Coast Guard District search and rescue coordinators at 305-415-6800.