Coast Guard suspends search for missing cruise ship passenger

PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday evening for a 47-year-old women who vanished from the Bahamas Celebration cruise early Wednesday.

U.S. Coast Guard officials suspect the woman went overboard during a transit from Freeport, Bahamas, to Palm Beach, Fla.

The search covered an area of 7,296 square miles, and spanned 84 hours, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Crew members aboard the Bahamas Celebration searched the cruise ship for the women and reported negative results.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, several units assisted in the search, including:

  • 7th Coast Guard District search and rescue coordinators
  • Coast Guard Sector Miami search and rescue coordinators
  • Aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
  • Aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Miami
  • Boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cormorant
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher
  • A Florida Air National Guard aircrew from Jacksonville, Fla.
  • A boatcrew from the Royal Bahamas Police Force
  • An aircrew from the Bahamian Air and Sea Rescue Association (BASRA)

The woman was reported missing at 8 a.m. Wednesday after the ship docked at 7 a.m., according to Celebration Cruise Lines spokesman Glen Ryerson.

Ryerson said there are confirmed documents that show the woman boarded in the Bahamas.

Her boyfriend shared a cabin with her on board.

According to Celebration President Charlie Kinnear, the boyfriend claims he last saw his girlfriend at 1 a.m. in the gift shop before he headed to the inboard casino.

The ship was just off the coast of Grand Bahama Island at the time.

When he woke up she still hadn't returned.

Investigators are not releasing her identity but she's a 47-year-old Canadian resident.

Cruise officials say she had been spotted numerous times on the ship and even used her key card last night.

The ship docked at 7 a.m. but her boyfriend didn't report her missing until 8 a.m.

"It's very unfortunate, I mean if we had still been on scene we would have turned around immediately, or at least stopped but we were already tied up at this point so it is unfortunate that the individual waited as long as he did," said Kinnear.

Copyright 2012 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.