NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The Carnival Valor docked in New Orleans after a woman jumped from a balcony into the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the United States Coast Guard, a 32-year-old woman went overboard on the cruise ship around 2:28 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16 about 150 miles off Southwest Pass, Louisiana.
The ship departed from Cozumel, Mexico at approximately 3:27 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15. It returned to dock in New Orleans around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 17.
A Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson said the guest jumped off his balcony and was not handcuffed, despite initial statements from passengers.
Cellphone video of the incident obtained by FOX 8 shows three security guards holding a woman’s arms behind her back without handcuffs. She gets up and shouts the name “Alicia” before being helped up a flight of stairs and out of the pool. The video then cuts to moments after the woman jumped, and crews can be seen rushing to the side of the ship to throw a lifeline.
It is not known when during the incident the woman jumped or from where.
Passengers say she jumped from the tenth floor and hit the side of the ship before hitting the water first. They say the woman disappeared shortly after crews launched life jackets and a flare marking her position.
In photos shared on Twitter and FOX 8, an empty life jacket was seen in the water over the side of the ship.
The ship circled for hours before the Coast Guard resumed search and rescue efforts. Around 5:37 p.m., the coast guard suspended the search.
“The decision to suspend a search and rescue case is never taken lightly,” said Chief Warrant Officer Tricia Eldredge, New Orleans Area Command Duty Officer. “We offer our deepest condolences to the family at this difficult time.” Carnival’s CARE team is supporting the guest’s husband who was traveling with her, as well as her family.
Copyright 2022 WVUE via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.