Skip to main content

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

From Ed Payne, CNN
May 10, 2013 -- Updated 1245 GMT (2045 HKT)
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
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT