Skip to main content

Search ends for 2 passengers believed to have fallen off cruise ship

From Ed Payne, CNN
updated 8:45 AM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Search called off late Friday afternoon
  • The couple was at the end of a 10-day Pacific Island cruise.
  • Police believe the two went overboard Wednesday night
  • They were reported missing when the Carnival Spirit docked in Sydney

(CNN) -- After scouring hundreds of miles of waters off Australia's coast, authorities on Friday called off a search for two cruise ship passengers who are believed to have fallen overboard.

The 30-year-old man and 27-year-old woman were reported missing when the Carnival Cruise ship Spirit docked in Sydney on Thursday morning, CNN affiliate Seven Network reported. The first clue came when they didn't claim their luggage.

Maritime officers reviewed surveillance video from the ship and determined that Paul Rossington and Kristen Schroder went overboard Wednesday night. Authorities believe the couple fell about 150 kilometers (93 miles) off Foster, New South Wales.

"We believe that they were up mid-deck, which is halfway up the side of the ship, which is quite a way to fall," said Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings of the New South Wales Police Marine Area Command.

Read more: Carnival cruise line in more troubled waters

Late Friday afternoon, New South Wales police said they called off the search after finding no sign of the couple. The search, involving an Australian navy ship, the police force's marine unit and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, covered 1,360 square nautical miles, they said.

The couple was sharing a cabin and traveling with family and friends on a 10-day Pacific Island cruise. Police said they are investigating the fall.

Schroder's family issued a statement thanking "everyone involved in the search for both Paul and Kristen."

"We would appreciate privacy and understanding while we come to terms with our beautiful girl's tragic accident," the family said.

Carnival has been plagued by a series of high-profile incidents recently.

In February, an engine room fire left the Carnival Triumph adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, with passengers reporting overflowing toilets and human waste running down the walls in some parts of the ship.

On a March cruise, the Carnival Dream lost power, and some toilets stopped working.

CNN's Tina Burnside, Ric Ward and Alden Mahler Levine contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
A year ago, 1,000 garment workers died in the collapse of Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. Here's a look at what has changed since then.
updated 12:53 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Focus is on the fish as U.S. President starts tour with visit to legendary Tokyo restaurant.
updated 1:23 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Fireworks are fantastic and human endeavor has its place, but sometimes Mother Nature outshines any performance we can produce.
updated 11:06 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In 1987, China sent its very first email. Here's what it said,
updated 10:13 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
The world's new fastest elevator will fling you from earth to the 95th floor before you're done reading this article.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In one U.S. state, a new bill will allow ordinary citizens to carry guns in all sorts of places. Does it make you feel safer?
updated 10:10 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
In South Korea, volunteer divers are risking their lives to rescue victims of the sunken ferry.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Park Jee Young, 22, helped passengers escape as the Sewol ferry sank -- giving out life jackets while refusing to wear one herself.
updated 12:43 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
What did outgoing manager David Moyes get wrong in his six months with English Premier League football team Manchester United?
updated 1:36 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here are 15 of the world's most amazing theaters.
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
CNN exclusive: Australian officials are hammering out a new agreement for widening the Flight 370 search area.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Malaysian officials sent to brief Chinese families are armed with little to no information.
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a 63-year-old man, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
updated 3:01 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Do these photos CNN of gun-toting men wearing green uniforms prove Russian forces are in eastern Ukraine?
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
If the Duchess wears it, then your fashion career is sorted for life.
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT