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Search for missing cruise ship passenger unsuccessful so far

  • Story Highlights
  • Authorities suspect passenger fell overboard from Carnival ship Holiday
  • Ship in Gulf of Mexico on way from Mobile, Alabama, to Cozumel, Mexico
  • Missing 50-year-old Alabama woman still not found
  • In separate incident, man rescued after falling off another Carnival ship
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(CNN) -- A cruise ship resumed its voyage to Cozumel, Mexico, on Tuesday after the Coast Guard released it from the search for a 50-year-old woman believed to have fallen overboard late Monday.

Passengers on the Carnival cruise ship Holiday were told that the missing person had not been found.

The Coast Guard identified the woman as Michelle Vilborg of Bay Minette, Alabama. Two Coast Guard ships, two planes and a helicopter had been searching an area of more than 1,200 square miles about 75 miles south-southwest of Pensacola, Florida.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman told CNN the search began after a crew member heard a loud splash near the vessel late Monday.

The Holiday, which sailed from Mobile, Alabama, stopped and passengers were told to return to their cabins for a head count, a passenger said. On Tuesday, a note from the ship's captain, Carmelo Marino, was slipped under the doors of passenger cabins, briefing them on the situation.

After circling in Gulf waters Tuesday, the Holiday was released by the Coast Guard about noon. The Coast Guard continued searching for the missing woman.

Vilborg is believed to have fallen about 10:30 p.m. Monday, and boats were launched from the cruise ship to search nearby waters. The Coast Guard said it joined the search around 11 p.m.

In a separate incident Monday, rescuers found a passenger who had fallen off another Carnival cruise ship. The man had climbed a railing for a better a view of the scenery and slipped into the water near Tampa, Florida, the Coast Guard said.

The passenger was found clinging to a sea buoy and was taken to a hospital with cuts on his arms.

CNN's Ed Payne and Samuel Gardner contributed to this report.

All About Gulf of MexicoU.S. Coast GuardCarnival Corporation

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