Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Search Suspended for Overboard Cruise Ship Worker

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Coast Guard and the Alaska State Troopers say they’ve suspended the search for a missing 25-year-old woman who went overboard while on the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Norwegian Pearl the morning of Sept. 8.

The crew of Norwegian Pearl reported the woman, who was a crewmember aboard the vessel, went into the water while the vessel was transiting the 90-mile Lynn Canal in southeast Alaska.

“We searched extensively with the Alaska State Troopers with multiple aircraft and surface resources for more than 42 hours,” the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command duty officer, Petty Officer 1st Class Blake Fleming, said Sept. 9. “After saturating a search area of 340 square miles in Lynn Canal with 13 different search patterns, we made the difficult decision to suspend the search after our combined efforts were not able to locate her.”

The 17th Coast Guard District command center coordinated the search, which included Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crews, Coast Guard Station Ketchikan response boat crews, the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Liberty and Alaska State Trooper fixed-wing aircraft and response boat crews.

The search is suspended pending any further developments, according to the USCG. The woman’s identity has not been revealed.

Norwegian Pearl, which has a capacity of 2,394 passengers and 1,099 crew, sails one-week Alaska cruises out of Seattle from early May through late September each year.