Thursday, December 31, 2009

Coast Guard Searching for Missing Royal Caribbean Passenger

Update January 2, 2010 - 7pm
Since Thursday afternoon, the US Coast Guard has been searching an area near the Bahamas for a passenger who went overboard early Thursday from Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas when it was nearing Coco Cay a/k/a Little Stirrup Cay.

The 23-year-old woman was reported missing by her husband, who works aboard the ship, Thursday at 12:15pm. She was last seen about 3:45am. The ship and Coco Cay were searched and numerous announcements were made, but the woman was not located. The US Coast Guard and Bahamian authorities were notified at approximately 2pm.

Upon reviewing the security video, it was found that the woman went overboard from Deck 12 of the 74,000-ton cruise ship at 4:11am. The video shows the woman was wearing a black tank top and white skirt at the time. Deck 12 is the ship's highest deck where the jogging track is located. There are no passenger staterooms on the deck.

Government officials have reviewed the footage and determined that the guest jumped overboard.

Engaged in the initial search were a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet, a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and a Coast Guard cutter.

Royal Caribbean’s Guest Care Team is providing support to the woman's husband.

Monarch of the Seas was operating a special 5-night itinerary this week which departed Port Canaveral on Monday (December 28) calling at Nassau and Coco Cay. It is return to Port Canaveral on January 2 as scheduled.

The Coast Guard suspended their search at 4:30pm on Saturday (January 2) without finding the woman or her body.

According to published reports in India (where the couple is from), the woman's family allege she was the victim of ongoing domestic violence, and they believe that is what drove her to end her life.