The Coast Guard on Tuesday night ended the search for a 21-year-old Tennessee woman who fell overboard off Royal Caribbeans newest cruise ship 47 miles east of Fort Lauderdale on Sunday night.
More than 2,300 square miles were searched by multiple Coast Guard rescue units over a 46-hour period, the agency said.
Its 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 Incident Management Branch. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of the missing woman.
Officials said the passenger, traveling with her mother, was from the Memphis suburb of Bartlett, Tenn., but would not release her name. Police in Bartlett could not give further information, saying they had not been contacted.
Royal Caribbean said in a statement that the Allure of the Seas was bound for Nassau on a seven-night itinerary Sunday when a guest witnessed another guest going overboard at about 9:25 p.m.
The captain stopped the ship, turned around and alerted the U.S. and Bahamian Coast Guard, the cruise company said. Meanwhile, the ships crew reviewed closed-circuit camera footage and observed a 21-year-old female guest from the United States going overboard.
The cruises ships location at the time was marked on the ships Global Positioning System, which meant that two other nearby cruise ships the Carnival Fascination and Majesty of the Sea were called in to assist with a search.
Early Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard took charge of the search and the three ships returned to their scheduled sails.