The incident took place on the Carnival Valor, which was located about 150 miles off the coast of Southwest Pass, Louisiana, when the 32-year-old jumped off the cruise ship’s Deck 10 at around 2:30 p.m.
Witnesses said the woman, who has not been named, was handcuffed as she jumped off the ship and reportedly hit a lifeboat and possibly a railing during her fall before crashing face first into the Gulf of Mexico.
Several passengers said security on the cruise ship attempted to detain the woman following a disturbance with a man in the hot tub area of the 10th deck, WAFB reports.
“Security got her out of the hot tub,” said Kim Barnette, a passenger on the ship, via WAFB. “Whenever they got to take her into custody, apparently she was upset and went over the rail. And, that was at about 2:30,”
“Apparently, she was handcuffed, she jumped over the side of the ship,” added Darrell Morris, another passenger, via WAFB.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed it is still undergoing a missing person search for the woman as of Thursday (February 17) morning.
“We have a fix winged air asset onsite conducting search patterns,” a spokesperson told Daily Mail. “There is still an ongoing investigation as to the cause of the woman going overboard.”
The Coast Guard was called at around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday and sent two sets of helicopter crews to help search for the missing woman.
The Carnival Valor was returning to New Orleans, Louisiana following its round trip to Cozumel, Mexico at the time of the incident.