Foul Play Suspected After Woman Falls Overboard Carnival Cruise Ship

[YouTube][CBS Los Angeles]

Damir Mujezinovic

An unidentified woman fell overboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship and into Pacific Ocean waters early Saturday morning, according to reports.

United States Coast Guard crews have searched for the woman for over 30 hours, but to no avail. The Mexican Navy also assisted in the search, since the woman apparently fell off near Ensenada, Mexico.

The cruise ship left the Long Beach Cruise Terminal on Thursday, and was scheduled to return Saturday.

But what really happened and how did the woman fall overboard?

Suspected Foul Play

The woman fell overboard from the fifth-floor balcony of her stateroom around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Many passengers believe foul play was involved, according to Daniel Miranda, a Northern California firefighter paramedic.

"Someone has lost their life, whether it was done by accident or by foul play I don’t know -- there’s some high suspicion of foul play. A lot of people are concerned because that’s somebody’s life, and that’s a high likelihood that this person will not be found alive," Miranda said.

Initial Searches

U.S. Coast Guard crews began searching for the woman as soon as they could, and Miranda tried to help them.

"They immediately did their best efforts to get crews out on little boats and rescue, to start a search. They had crew literally around the deck to look all the way around the ship to be able to see if somebody was out in the water," Miranda explained.

"They had lights out in the water trying to flash out there, but again it’s pretty dark," he added, noting that he believes around 1,100 passengers were on board of the cruise ship.

Falling Overboard

Carolyn Spencer Brown, a cruise industry veteran and chief content officer of Cruise Media LLC, told The New York Times that it is highly unlikely the woman accidentally fell overboard.

"It’s becoming much more uncommon than it was 20 years ago," Brown stated, pointing to the "increasingly sophisticated design specifications" such as those required per the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act.

"They are designed to keep you safe. You really don’t hear about it very often, and when it happens, typically there are other factors involved," she said.

Carnival Miracle

[YouTube][CBS Los Angeles]

The cruise ship the woman was on, called Carnival Miracle, can host up to 2,100 passengers. Carnival Cruise Line did not provide details about how the woman fell from the ship.

In a statement released on Saturday, the company said, "we advised Carnival Miracle guests this morning of an overboard incident involving one of our guests from the balcony of her statesroom... Our thoughts are with the guest and her family, and our care team is providing support."

FBI agents reportedly went to the ship on Monday "with an evidence response team."