Crews search for missing cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for a cruise ship passenger who jumped off her balcony into the sea and is missing in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said.

Coast Guard officials said Thursday that a plane was searching off the coast.

The Coast Guard received a call 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, spokesman for South Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line.

“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 brings her support for the husband of the guest who was traveling with her, as well as her family”. Lupoli said in a statement Wednesday.

“Our hearts go out to 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 homeport of New Orleans Thursday morning after a five-day cruise to Mexico, Lupoli said.

Brandon D. James