Search suspended for Carnival cruise passenger who jumped overboard

After 2 p.m., the Coast Guard said it halted its search Thursday evening.

“The decision to put a search and rescue case on hold is never taken lightly,” said Chief Warrant Officer Tricia Eldredge, command duty officer at New Orleans Sector, said in a press release late Thursday. “We offer our deepest condolences to the family at this difficult time.”

Cell phone video obtained by Fox affiliate WVUE appears to show a woman standing on the deck of a ship shouting the name “Alicia” as crew members and security detain her and then escort her out of the area. Matt Lupoli, a spokesman for Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line, told The Washington Post that claims the woman was handcuffed were false.

Later in the video – presumably after the woman jumped – other passengers are seen rushing to the side of the ship as one person throws a personal flotation device overboard.

Passengers said the woman jumped from the 10th floor and hit the side of the ship before falling into the water, according to WVUE. But the authorities have not confirmed this detail.

From 2001 to 2019, 58 passengers and 14 crew members died after falling overboard and 55 passengers and five crew members died after jumping overboard in suspected suicides, according to the International Journal of Travel Medicine and Global Health. The Coast Guard said the cause of the recent incident is under investigation.

Lupoli said the woman was traveling with her husband on the Carnival Valor ship, which left New Orleans on Saturday for a five-day cruise to Mexico. He returned to his home port on Thursday. Lupoli said Carnival’s CARE team was supporting the woman’s husband, adding the crew’s thoughts were with the family.

Amanda Finnegan contributed to this report.

Brandon D. James