Crews search for missing cruise traveler in Gulf of Mexico

Associated Press

New Orleans – The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a cruise ship passenger who jumped from her balcony into the sea and is missing in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said.

Coast Guard officials said Thursday that an airplane is conducting search patterns off the coast.

Cruise ship Carnival Valor, left, lays anchored in the English Channel off the Dorset coast in this August 18, 2020, file photo in Weymouth, England.

The Coast Guard received a called Wednesday afternoon that a 32-year-old woman had fallen overboard from the Carnival Valor cruise ship about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from Southwest Pass, Louisiana, authorities said.

The woman jumped into the ocean from her balcony while the ship was at sea, said Matt Lupoli, a spokesman for the south Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line.

“The ship’s command immediately began search and rescue procedures, returned to the area near where the incident occurred and notified the U.S. Coast Guard. Carnival’s CARE team is providing support to the guest’s husband who was traveling with her, as well as her family,” Lupoli said in a statement Wednesday.

“Our thoughts are with our guest’s family,” he added.

The Carnival Valor can carry nearly 3,000 guests and 1,180 crew members, according to its website. The ship arrived at its home port of New Orleans on Thursday morning after a five-day cruise to Mexico, Lupoli said.