Vanished holiday-maker: Search called off for missing woman who fell off cruise ship
The search for a female passenger who reportedly fell overboard a cruise ship into the Mediterranean Sea has officially been called off.
The cruise was heading from Cannes in France to Palma de Mallorca in Spain when a 63-year-old Korean passenger fell off the ship on Saturday morning, a cruise line spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement.
“As soon as the report was made, the authorities were notified and a search and rescue operation ensued,” the statement explained. “The search ceased after several hours, and sadly, the guest was not found.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family during this difficult time.”
According to reports, the passenger was last seen wearing pink pyjamas. The ship was due to arrive in Palma on Saturday but turned around to search for the missing woman, returning to where she was believed to have fallen off the ship before circling the area.
“It took us two hours to get back to the place where they were last seen. We stopped there for four hours to try and find the person,” British passenger Claire Murphy told The Sun.
“They asked everyone on board to help look for that person, so a lot of people were looking out of the windows or were on the edge of the ship but no one could see anything.”
The incident added to the growing list of individuals disappearing after going overboard from cruises or ferries. According to a website that collects information on missing cruise and ferry passengers and crew, there have been 340 known overboard cases since 2000, averaging to roughly 18 victims per year.