A woman went overboard from the Norwegian Epic cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend, and in a grim development, officials called off the search for her on Sunday.
The ship was crossing the Mediterranean Sea while traveling from Cannes, France, to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, but turned around and docked in the middle of the ocean to launch a search party where the passenger, identified as a 63-year-old Korean woman, was last seen.
Passengers told The Sun thousands of people on board were searching for the woman who was last seen wearing pink pajamas.
One vacationer said that it took two hours to sail back in an attempt to find her and that a helicopter also came to search the waters.
After several hours, passengers said the cruise line abandoned the search and the ship set off for Barcelona, where it arrived the next day.
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“Staff eventually just turned the music on and told us to go get and get a drink and after four hours, we were on our way again. It was like it had almost been forgotten about last night,” British tourist Claire Murphy said.
“Around 8 p.m. the search was called off and the captain informed us that according to the family she could not swim at all. Given the conditions it’s unlikely she would have survived,” another passenger, Kyjuan Brown, said.
“Everyone felt for the family. It’s horrible to go on vacation and leave without a family member.”
Norwegian Cruise Lines issued a statement confirming the incident.
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“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,” it read.
“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.”