South Florida

Woman falls from Carnival cruise ship near the Bahamas

File photo of Carnival Ecstasy
File photo of Carnival Ecstasy MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The Coast Guard is searching for a woman who fell from a Carnival cruise ship early Wednesday.

The 32-year-old woman plunged off the 11th deck around 2:30 a.m. when the Carnival Ecstasy was about 27 miles southwest of Freeport, Bahamas.

The woman jumped, said Jennifer de la Cruz, a spokeswoman for Carnival Cruise Line.

The missing woman was identified by the Coast Guard as Rina Patel of Interlaken, New York.

She was last seen in a white dress with pink floral print.

When the woman first fell, the ship’s crew began man overboard procedures and called the Coast Guard, de la Cruz said. At 9 a.m., the Coast Guard sent the cruise ship on to its next destination, Charleston, South Carolina, where it was scheduled to arrive Thursday. Coast Guard crews stayed behind to keep looking.

“The company’s CareTeam is providing assistance and support to the missing guest’s family on board, and our thoughts and prayers are with her and family and loved ones during this difficult time,” de la Cruz said.

The Coast Guard has a helicopter, an airplane and ships on the lookout for the missing woman.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc