Search for cruise passenger suspended

May 12, 2008 2:09:14 PM PDT
Foul weather Monday forced the U.S. Coast Guard to stop searching for a woman passenger who fell overboard from a cruise ship off the Atlantic City coast.The Norwegian Dawn was headed for Bermuda from New York City when 46-year-old Mindy Jordan, of Pine Hill, New Jersey, went overboard at about 7:50 p.m. Sunday, cruise officials said.

In a statement, the cruise line said the ship immediately began a search and rescue operation, but did not provide further details. On Monday, the Coast Guard said continuing winds over 50 mph and heavy rain prevented it from resuming the search.

"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of the guest during this difficult time," said Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman AnneMarie Mathews.

The Coast Guard said the ship was approximately 45 miles northeast of Atlantic City when the woman was reported overboard Sunday night. It departed from a pier in Manhattan at 4 p.m.

The Coast Guard said it was initially notified Sunday night at approximately 8:21 p.m. A helicopter crew from Atlantic City launched at 9 p.m., and arrived on scene at about 9:43 p.m. The helicopter crew conducted search patterns until 10:53 p.m.

Then a rescue helicopter crew from a Coast Guard station in Cape Cod, Mass. arrived at the scene at 12:05 a.m. Monday, and conducted search patterns until 3:05 a.m. when it returned to base due to inclement weather.

The vessel was cleared to proceed on its scheduled itinerary and is set to arrive in Bermuda on Wednesday.