Photo Credit: Matthew Barra from Pexels
Woman Allegedly Jumps From Carnival Cruise Ship After Being Detained By Security
Multiple passengers aboard a Carnival Valor cruise ship reported witnessing a woman jump from the ship’s balcony into the Gulf of Mexico after being detained by security officers following a disturbance with another passenger.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, Feb. 16 on a cruise en route to New Orleans from Cozumel, Mexico. Cell phone footage captured by onlookers on board showed the 32-year-old woman, who has not been publicly identified, being restrained by three officers near the ship’s pool area. She can be heard yelling “Alicia” before being escorted away by security with her hands behind her back. It’s unclear whether she had been handcuffed or not. In the same video, passengers are seen looking overboard as many could be heard detailing that the woman had jumped. A male passenger is overheard saying that buoys had been thrown out in an attempt to rescue the woman and that the ship was turning around.
Why was security called?
The woman was allegedly traveling with her husband on a five-day cruise to Mexico that departed on Feb. 12. According to reports, security was called following an altercation between the woman and a man in the hot tub area of the 10th deck around 2:30 PM on Feb. 16.
“Security tried to calm her down, and she was belligerent toward them. They had to restrain her because she was combative,” one of the ship’s passengers told NOLA.com.
“Security got her out of the hot tub. Whenever they got to take her into custody, apparently she was upset and went over the rail. And, that was at about 2:30,” another passenger told WAFB.
Here is a picture taken by a passenger of the woman who went overboard while on a cruise on the New Orleans based Carnival Valor. There was a disturbance by the pool and security put the woman in handcuffs shortly before Carnival says she jumped from her balcony. @WWLTV pic.twitter.com/LKL3kBBZQq
— Paul Murphy (@PMurphyWWL) February 17, 2022
Chaos ensues after the passenger goes overboard.
From the 10th deck of the 11 deck ship, the female passenger went overboard roughly 150 miles from Southwest Pass, Louisiana. According to bystanders, she hit her head on lifeboats on the way down.
“And when she jumped off, she apparently hit her head on the side of the boat. And, then she hit the water face first,” Randy, another passenger, recalled.
Some witnesses recalled seeing blood and jerking movements when the woman hit the lifeboat, citing that she may have had a seizure from the impact.
Search and Rescue
A search was immediately called and Coast Guard was notified. The search spanned well into Thursday. and after searching 2,514 square nautical miles near Southwest Pass for 14 hours, the Coast Guard made the tough decision to discontinue their efforts.
“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,” Tricia Eldredge, Chief Warrant Officer at Sector New Orleans, said in a statement. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”
Carnival Valor returned to New Orleans at 10:30 AM on Thursday morning and prepared to depart for its next cruise that evening.
An official statement from Carnival Cruise
Carnival Cruise released an official statement following the incident.
“Carnival Valor supported the search for a guest who jumped overboard from her balcony on Wednesday evening while the ship was at sea. The ship’s command immediately began search and rescue procedures, returned to the area near where the incident occurred and notified the U.S. Coast Guard. Carnival’s CARE team is providing support to the guest’s husband who was traveling with her, as well as her family.
Coast Guard officials took over the search effort and released Carnival Valor on Wednesday evening. Our thoughts are with our guest’s family.”
Passengers threaten to sue Carnival
According to TMZ, passengers are now threatening to sue Carnival over the traumatizing incident they witnessed aboard the ship. One passenger, Rhonda Turner of Booneville, MS, was on the cruise with her husband and two young sons and reveals that not only were her children confused and upset, but she even saw the head of the woman who jumped overboard bobbing in the water.
After the horrifying event, Turner, who now says she’s considering counseling, is looking for some form of compensation, at the very least a credit towards another cruise.