As an exhaustive search for a Carnival cruise passenger has been suspended, evidence has arisen that the missing young mother, Samantha Broberg, fell off the ship after engaging in some risky behavior.
According to ABC News, a security camera captured Samantha’s fall off the vessel, and the video of that incident has been analyzed, spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz said.
The footage revealed that around 2 a.m. Friday morning, Broberg, 33, was on the 10th deck of the Carnival Liberty. She appears to have “climbed up and sat on a deck railing and subsequently fell backwards” and into the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s not clear whether or not Broberg was alone at the time.
Samantha, who is a mother to four children, was reported missing by the people she was traveling with. Immediately afterward, staff searched the vessel and reportedly posted pictures of the missing passenger. The camera footage was also reviewed.
ICYMI: U.S. Coast Guard searching for 33-year-old Samantha Broberg after she fell overboard off Carnival cruise ship pic.twitter.com/OrpJXvsMQ1
— People Magazine (@people) May 14, 2016
Fellow Carnival passenger Linda Lopez called the hunt for Broberg thorough as staff attempted to make sure that she wasn’t still on board.
“They wanted to check every single room to make sure that every guest was in their room. They were just keeping us updated like, ‘We have not found her.’ People are talking about it everywhere. They’re very sad.”
Fifteen hours later, they’d confirmed that Samantha wasn’t on the Carnival ship, and the Coast Guard was called in to comb the Gulf of Mexico for the missing passenger, United Press International reported.
According to KHOU, Carnival released a statement about the missing passenger.
“Earlier today, a 33-year-old female guest on… Carnival Liberty was reported missing by traveling companions. A ship-wide search was conducted along with a review of the … camera footage. Unfortunately, it appears the guest may have gone overboard early this morning. Authorities were notified including the U.S. Coast Guard which is initiating a search effort in the area where the ship was located when the individual was last seen. Carnival’s CareTeam is providing support to the guest’s traveling companions and family. We are keeping our guest and her loved ones in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
The lag between the incident and the hunt for Samantha has been explained: Samantha’s companions weren’t aware their friend was missing right away, so they didn’t report her absence until noon Friday. Five hours later, Carnival confirmed she was no longer on board and contacted the Coast Guard.
The search began about 5 p.m. on Friday, beginning in the area the vessel was sailing when Samantha was last seen.
BREAKING: Carnival Liberty arriving in Galveston now. Passenger Samantha Broberg, 33, fell overboard on Friday. pic.twitter.com/BbaXDrSDli
— Adam Bennett (@AdamBennettKHOU) May 16, 2016
— Sofia Ojeda (@KPRCSofiaOjeda) May 16, 2016
The Coast Guard’s New Orleans-based 8th District command center searched from the air all day and into the evening on Saturday. The search was halted when darkness fell but resumed at first light on Sunday morning. On the second day, the service was unable to find Broberg in the Gulf of Mexico.
At 8:15 p.m. Sunday, the search was officially suspended, the Dallas Morning News reported.
In the end, the Coast Guard combed a 4,300-square-mile area for Samantha over 20 hours. The search area was focused on a spot located about 200 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas.
The Carnival Liberty was on a four-day cruise to Mexico and didn’t suspend the trip on account of Broberg’s disappearance. The cruise ended Monday, and the Liberty returned to Galveston.
The ship had only been sailing for 10 hours when Broberg fell overboard and was heading to Cozumel, Mexico.
Samantha is married to Karl Broberg, a top Thoroughbred trainer, according to the Thoroughbred Daily News.
The Carnival Liberty was apparently not equipped with an “automatic man overboard system,” which would’ve immediately alerted the bridge when Broberg fell off the rail and into the Gulf of Mexico, CruiseLawNews reported. If this system had been in place, “immediate rescue measures could have been undertaken.”
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]