Coast Guard Ends Search for Missing Cruise Ship Passenger

The woman reportedly fell off the Allure of the Seas Sunday night

By Edward B. Colby
|  Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012  |  Updated 10:44 PM EDT
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The Allure of the Seas

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This week, as every major cruise line and port across the world is attending the Cruise Shipping Miami conference, the big theme is restoring passenger confidence. "(For) the cruise industry, and the ports that these ships come to, our highest priority is safety and security," said Bill Johnson, director of the Port of Miami. Cruise expert Stewart Chiron says ships have made immediate changes on their lifeboat drills.
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The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday night it has ended its search for a 21-year-old Tennessee woman who reportedly fell off the Allure of the Seas.

Coast Guard crews searched more than 2,300 square miles over a 46-hour period since Sunday night for the woman, who is from Bartlett, Tennessee. She reportedly fell overboard about 47 miles east of Fort Lauderdale.

"It's always unfortunate when we have to suspend a search, because our main focus is to locate the individual and return her safely to her family," said Capt. Todd Lutes, the chief of the Coast Guard 7th District Incident Management Branch. "Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of the missing woman."

The Allure of the Seas will come into port for the first time since the passenger went missing on Wednesday in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Special Agent Harry Rodriguez of the FBI said.

The FBI's Puerto Rico office has jurisdiction in St. Thomas, and FBI agents will board the ship and begin an investigation, Rodriguez said. They will interview the crew and passengers and gather evidence.

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Though the search has ended, the Coast Guard asks anyone with more information on the missing woman to call it at 305-415-6800.

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