U.S. Coast Guard searches for Carnival cruise ship passenger in Bahamas

MIAMI -- Authorities searched in the Bahamas for a U.S. citizen who went overboard from a cruise ship before dawn Wednesday.

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

The Coast Guard identified the woman as Rina Patel of Interlaken, New York. The agency said she was reportedly “wearing a white dress with pink floral.”

A statement from the cruise company said emergency procedures were initiated immediately and the crew began to search for the woman. The Coast Guard dispatched aircraft and two ships to an area about 27 miles southwest of Freeport on Grand Bahama to look for her.

The cruise ship had left Nassau, Bahamas, and was en route to Charleston, South Carolina, at the time.

The cruise line said the Coast Guard released the ship to resume traveling to Charleston at 9 a.m.

“The company’s CareTeam is providing assistance and support to the missing guest’s family on board and our thoughts and prayers are with her and family and loved ones during this difficult time,” the statement said.