Search called off for missing woman who fell overboard on cruise ship, FBI takes over

A file photo of the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle as it sails up the St. John's River after a trans-Atlantic voyage from its Finnish shipyard Feb. 23, 2004. Andy Newman / Carnival Cruise Lines via Getty Images

The U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for a missing woman who went overboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship off the coast of Mexico last weekend.

The woman, described only as in her mid-20s, was a passenger on the Carnival Miracle cruise ship. She went overboard from her room’s balcony around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, reports NBC News.

The coast guard announced it was standing down, after searching for more than 31 hours.

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Carnival told the New York Times that the cruise ship had departed Long Beach, Calif., last week on a three-day cruise.

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“Our thoughts are with the guest and her family, and our Care Team is providing support,” the company said.

But now, the FBI is taking over the investigation after the boat returned to Long Beach on Sunday, reports Fox News.

“We responded due to the circumstances since we have jurisdiction on the high seas,” FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller told Fox News. “Whether accidental, foul play or otherwise, we look for evidence to determine what actually occurred.”

The coast guard said it had deployed several vessels to assist in the search, including a cutter called the Forrest Rednour, and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The Mexican navy also aided in the efforts. The search spanned about 520 square nautical miles, they said.

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“About 3 a.m., we were awakened by a general announcement across the ship with a warning going, ‘Man overboard! Man overboard! Man overboard!'” passenger Daniel Miranda told ABC-7 about the night the woman went missing.

“So the ship has been given limited information. They told us we were stuck looking for the lady, and then they called us to clear us up. The crew’s been very tight-lipped and of course, they’ve had different areas of the ship that have cordoned off for their search when they were searching.”

According to the company’s website, the 12-storey Carnival Miracle accommodates more than 2,100 guests and 934 crew members. It sails from Long Beach, San Diego and San Francisco to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico. Trips range in length from two to 10 days.

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