MIAMI (CBSMiami) – U.S. Coast Guard crews are scouring the waters and searching by air for a woman who went overboard from a cruise ship off the coast of Cuba.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Seeing COVID Rates 5 Times Higher Than Summer Delta Surge
Passengers on the Norwegian Pearl cruise captured pictures and video of the rescue effort, showing boats scouring the pitch black water just before sunrise on Friday.
“The reality is, it’s a dire situation. A young woman overboard at night, with no life jacket in the middle of the ocean,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma. “Falling overboard from a ship, from great height, that is underway, into the ocean, even though it’s water that’s a tough fall and survivability would be very difficult.”
Norwegian Cruise Line claims 24-year-old Kaylyn Sommer jumped off the ship Thursday evening according to a statement they released.
“On Thursday, November 12 during a chartered cruise on Norwegian Pearl, a female guest was observed intentionally going overboard while the ship was sailing the Yucatan Channel. The ship’s crew immediately initiated rescue measures, including deploying three rescue boats and notifying the Coast Guard and other relevant authorities. The search for the guest is ongoing. Both the ship and charter company teams are providing support to the family and all impacted guests during this difficult time.”
Sommer went overboard during what’s called the “Mad Decent Boat Party.” It’s a four day electric dance music festival that is held on board the ship.
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Sommer is from Charleston, South Carolina. Her father said he’s told her 6-year-old daughter that her mother is lost at sea. He added that Sommer was married on this same ship.
Following the incident, passengers said the party was suspended temporarily and the ship stopped to help with the search, to no avail as of yet.
The ship had left PortMiami on Wednesday bound for Cozumel.
Sommer is the second cruise passenger to fall overboard in the past week. On Friday, November 6, Bernardo Elbaz fell off a Royal Caribbean ship.
“What we see in most of these types of cases is there’s always a correlation between someone putting themselves in a perilous position and how much alcohol they’ve been served,” said attorney Jim Walker.
While the search continues for the latest missing passenger, well wishes were pouring in through social media.
A friend of Sommer tweeted: “She is a mother, a wife, a dear friend with a kind and loving heart. Praying she comes home safe.”MORE NEWS: Cleveland Browns DT Malik McDowell Bonds Out After Being Arrested In South Florida On Public Exposure Charge
As for the ship, the Norwegian Pearl is scheduled to return Sunday to Port Miami. Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) say they will investigate the incident.