South Carolina

Coast Guard Searching for Woman Who Reportedly Fell Off Carnival Cruise Ship Near Bahamas

Authorities were searching off the coast of the Bahamas for a U.S. citizen who reportedly went overboard from a cruise ship early Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard said 32-year-old Rina Patel apparently fell from the 11th deck of the Carnival Ecstasy as the ship passed near the island of Grand Bahama. Carnival Cruise Line reported that she was witnessed jumping overboard around 2:30 a.m.

Patel, from Interlaken, New York, was last seen wearing a white dress with pink flowers.

A statement from the cruise company said it emergency procedures were initiated immediately and the crew began to search for the woman. The U.S. Coast Guard aircraft and two ships to an area about 27 miles (about 43 km) southwest of the island of Grand Bahama to look for her.

The cruise ship had left Nassau, Bahamas and was en route to Charleston, South Carolina, where it is scheduled to dock Thursday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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