Cruise passenger dies after falling from ship's 8th floor

A 75-year-old cruise passenger died last Thursday after plunging from a balcony on the ship's eighth floor off the coast of Spain, the company confirmed.

A spokesperson for Costa Cruises, an Italy-based company owned by Carnival Corporation, told In The Know one of its ships, the Costa Pacifica, was sailing from Funchal, Portugal, to Malaga, Spain, on Oct. 10 when a senior female passenger "voluntarily" jumped off the ship.

"Upon information received, (the) captain immediately turned around the route to search the location and also alerted local search and rescue personnel," the spokesperson said over email. "The ship was alerted by the guest's cabinmate, who witnessed the (victim) voluntarily jump from the balcony of their cabin. As part of emergency procedures, the crew immediately launched a search and rescue mission."

Salvamento Marítimo, a sea search and rescue agency that operates in Spain, was alerted at approximately 10:45 p.m. local time after the traveler went overboard, the group wrote on Twitter. NATO Maritime Forces also joined Spanish authorities in the effort, according to a press release.

Rescuers aboard a tug boat called the Maria Zambrano located the body of the missing person on Oct. 11 around 9 a.m. in the Gulf of Cádiz area, Salvamento Marítimo announced. 

Costa Cruises said it is reviewing CCTV footage from the night of the incident and is cooperating with local authorities in their ongoing investigation.

"The Costa Care team activated to provide full assistance to the travel partner and parents of the missing guest," the company spokesperson said. "Her family is in our thoughts and prayers."

In July, 1-year-old Chloe Weigand fell to her death from the 11th floor of Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas while it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a tragic incident that made international headlines.

Her parents, Alan and Kimberly Wiegand, of Granger, Ind., blamed the cruise company in the wake of their daughter's death.

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