Two cruise ship passengers went overboard off the Australian coast, prompting a desperate search to find the pair alive.
The couple was nearing the end of a 10-day journey aboard the Carnival Spirit, which was traveling off the east coast of Australian. Police said surveillance footage showed the 30-year-old man and 26-year-old woman standing together on the mid deck of the cruise ship, then falling overboard.
The couple and seven family and friends were among 2,680 passengers aboard the Carnival Spirit.
Though they fell overboard Wednesday night, the couple was not discovered missing until Thursday morning, when the ship docked in Sydney. By then they ship had already traveled close to 185 miles from where it is believed the cruise ship couple fell overboard.
“This is a tragic event at the moment, but we’re holding out hope we might be able to find these people alive,” New South Wales Police Superintendent Mark Hutchings told reporters.
The overboard couple is the latest incident involving the beleaguered cruise ship line. In February the Carnival Triumph lost power, leaving passengers adrift at sea for five days. They were without air conditioning and water services, forcing them to use biohazard bags instead of bathrooms.
The ship had to be docked in Alabama, but later was evacuated for a nearby barge explosion.
Carnival also announced in April that it will not pay the government the $4 million that has been spent rescuing stranded passengers over the past few years. The Coast Guard has been involved in more than 90 “serious events” involving Carnival cruise ships, leading Senator Jay Rockefeller to ask the company to repay the federal government. Carnival declined.
Authorities are watching the surveillance footage to determine if the cruise ship couple fell overboard or jumped on purpose. Authorities said there were no life preservers missing, indicating that no one tried to rescue the couple.