Woman missing after fall from cruise ship

Woman missing after fall from cruise ship

She said the primary response lies with the ship's flag state which is the UK.

P&O said in a statement it had searched throughout the night and into the morning after first light without success.

"The hard decision to suspend the search was made only after expert advice that survival after this length of time in hard sea conditions, and after a full night at sea, was not considered possible", a P&O Cruises spokesman said.

Searches for the woman have now been called off, authorities confirm.

Queensland police said they would meet the Pacific Dawn when it docked in Brisbane on Sunday, to investigate the incident.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I need to let you know that we have been unable to locate our guest", the captain, speaking from the bridge, told passengers in a recording published by News Corp.

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On Thursday, Brisbane man Damien Pesch, who was holidaying on the ship with his family, said little information had been given to passengers other than that the ship was searching for a woman.

"Pacific Dawn turned around and retraced the course it was on at the time of the incident".

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the search was called off because the "time frame for survivability was quite limited due to the weather conditions that included four-meter (13-foot) swells, 30-knot winds and darkness, and because we knew the missing passenger was not wearing a life jacket", the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

A passenger onboard Pacific Dawn says its parent cruise ship company can not be faulted for the way it has handled the tragedy of a woman falling overboard.

The desperate search began yesterday when crew members were alerted to the situation on the Pacific Dawn cruise ship.

The captain of the cruise ship announced to passengers that the woman had not been found and the ship was heading back to Brisbane.

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