On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that it launched a search for a guest overboard a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, the cruise ship was sailing back toward its homeport in New Orleans, Louisiana.
UPDATE: On February 17, 2022, the Coast Guard suspended its search for the female passenger at 5:37 PM. Search crews covered more than 2,514 square nautical miles lasting approximately 14 hours.
“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,” said Chief Warrant Officer Tricia Eldredge, Command Duty Officer at Sector New Orleans. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”
Passenger Overboard Carnival Valor
It’s confirmed that a 32-year-old female is currently missing from the Carnival Valor cruise ship, and the U.S. Coast Guard has launched a search with assets. According to a video posted online by a passenger on board, a life ring was seen floating empty in the water.
Carnival Cruise Line confirmed on Thursday that the guest jumped from her balcony stateroom and was not in handcuffs at the time. A video that was obtained by Fox 8 captured the woman initially being handcuffed by three security officers on the lido deck at the main pool.
The overboard occurred approximately 150 miles offshore South West Pass in Louisiana, and the agency was contacted at around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday by the ship.
The U.S. Coast Guard said stated, “Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a call at approximately 3 p.m., Wednesday reporting a passenger on the Carnival Valor cruise ship had fallen overboard. The watchstanders directed the launch of rescue crews to begin searching.”
Involved in the search is an Ocean Sentry and a medium-range Jayhawk. Usually, in these cases, the cruise ship would also initially be included in any search by launching one of its own lifeboats.
At the time, Carnival Valor was heading back home to the Port of New Orleans and arrived back early on Thursday morning, February 17.
The Conquest-class cruise ship ended a five-day Western Caribbean voyage that included calls at Costa Maya and Cozumel, located in Mexico.
Carnival Valor’s next voyage is scheduled to depart New Orleans on Thursday afternoon on a four-day Western Caribbean itinerary with just a single call in Cozumel.
The last overboard that occurred from a Carnival cruise ship was in December 2021. The Coast Guard spent more than 31 hours searching for a woman overboard the Carnival Miracle just off Ensenada in Mexico.