Search underway in Mediterranean Sea for woman who fell off Norwegian Epic cruise ship

A passenger on the Norwegian Epic cruise ship went overboard Saturday morning.

June 9, 2019, 10:31 AM

A search was on in the Mediterranean for a cruise ship passenger who went overboard while on a voyage from the South of France to Spain, officials said Sunday.

Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson confirmed that a woman, whose name was not released, was reported to have fallen off the Norwegian Epic cruise ship hours after it departed from Cannes, France, early Saturday.

“On the early morning of June 8, a report was made that an adult female guest went overboard while the ship was sailing from Cannes, France, to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The authorities were immediately notified and a search and rescue operation ensued. Sadly, the guest has not yet been found. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual's family during this difficult time," a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said in a statement.

PHOTO: The Norwegian Epic cruiser arrives in Rotterdam, June 19, 2010.
The Norwegian Epic cruiser arrives in Rotterdam, June 19, 2010.
Robin Utrecht/EPA/Shutterstock, FILE

The missing passenger is a 63-year-old Korean woman, a source briefed on the search told ABC News. The woman, who was traveling with her husband, left her cabin about 1 a.m. to go out for some fresh air, the source said.

The woman's husband reported her missing when he woke up and found she had not returned to the cabin, the source added.

Miguel Chicon, head of Maritime search and rescue in Palma de Mallorca, said the cruise ship crew immediately checked security cameras on the ship and confirmed the woman went overboard.

The cruise ship then turned back and began searching for the passenger.

Chicon told ABC News that the Norwegian Epic contacted his agency about 8:30 a.m. local time and that two helicopters, a search plane and a rescue ship were dispatched to the area where the woman is believed to have gone into the water.

He said an urgency signal was sent out to other vessels in the area to be on the lookout for the woman.

The water is about 20 degrees Celsius, or about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, Chicon added.

Last August, a British woman was pulled out of the Adriatic Sea on Sunday after falling off a cruise ship and treading water for 10 hours. The woman was on the Norwegian Star near Croatia when she fell overboard, according to the cruise line.