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The body of a 36-year-old woman was recovered from the sea off the coast of Port Canaveral, Florida, Thursday morning after she fell overboard from the cruise ship Wonderful. According to the Coast Guard’s Southeast District, the named passenger was discovered 18 miles out to sea.
MSC, the company that owns it Wonderful, released a statement about the incident. It said the ship’s “advanced detection systems” alerted the crew, who “conducted an immediate search and rescue operation, with the US Coast Guard supporting search efforts with boats and a helicopter.”
“Unfortunately,” the statement continued, “despite the swift rescue operation, the passenger sustained fatal injuries. We offer our full support to the authorities as they investigate this matter.”
#BREAKING: The Coast Guard is searching for a cruise passenger who may have gone overboard 20 miles off the coast of Port Canaveral.
— Alexa Lorenzo (@ALorenzoTV) 15 December 2022
MSC expressed sadness at the incident and offered its “sincere condolences to the family and those affected.”
CBS News reported that passengers were also alerted over the ship’s loudspeakers.
The coast guard found the woman at around 07.30 in the morning. CBS quoted a statement from Guard, who offered his “deepest sympathy” to her family and asked for “discretion in notifying the family of this tragedy.”
The Daily mail reported that fighting broke out once Wonderful — the fifth largest cruise ship in the world, with a capacity of 5,000 passengers — docked at Port Canaveral. Passenger Marisa Aebi told the British tabloid that “fights broke out during disembarkation about how long it took to disembark. They didn’t let us off until 12-12:30.
“Yeah, it was crazy,” Aebi reportedly said, “definitely not something I ever thought I’d experience for sure. People were arrested disembarking for the games.”
Cruise Law News reported that the incident occurred despite MSc Wonderful which has sophisticated MOB (automatic man overboard) technology that immediately sends “a visual and audio signal alerting the bridge that a person has gone over the rails, so that the ship can immediately start emergency rescue operations.”
TMZ published a report suggesting it was a suicide, but no one from the Coast Guard or the cruise line has confirmed the cause of death.