Carnival cruise ship returns to Charleston Thursday morning; search continues for missing woman

Colby Thelen - WCBD

CHARLESTON, SC – The US Coast Guard is searching for 32-year-old Rina Patel from New York, who went overboard on a cruise ship headed for Charleston.

Witnesses say they saw her jump on Wednesday morning  from the 11th deck of the Carnival Ecstasy ship around 2:30 a.m.

Patel’s husband and family were on the Ecstasy and are not considered to be involved.

At the time, the ship was 15 miles off the coast of Freeport in the Bahamas.

The ship is expected to dock Thursday morning in Charleston at 8:00 a.m.

A Carnial cruise ship spokesperson released the following statement on Wednesday:

Early this morning, a 32-year-old female guest was witnessed jumping overboard from the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy. The ship was approximately 15 miles off the coast of Grand Bahama island. Man overboard procedures were initiated immediately along with notification to the U.S. Coast Guard. Cruise ship personnel have been participating in the search and rescue operation throughout the morning. At  9 a.m., USCG released the cruise ship to resume its course for Charleston. USCG remains on site to continue the search. The company’s CareTeam is providing assistance and support to the missing guest’s family on board and our thoughts and prayers are with her and family and loved ones during this difficult time.

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