Jennifer Seitz, the 36-year-old passenger who reportedly fell off Norwegian Cruise Line's 93,500-ton, 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl, remains missing after three days of searching by the U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy. The FBI is now involved, investigating whether the woman's disappearance is foul play, suicide or an accident.
The Coast Guard reports that surveillance video on the ship shows a woman falling from a balcony at 8:08 p.m. on Christmas Day. Search-and-rescue efforts in the waters off Cancun were originally hindered by high seas, but at this point over 2,500 square miles of ocean have been searched. No sign of Seitz has been found.
Several media outlets have identified Seitz's husband as Ray Seitz and the couple's place of residence as Winter Haven, Florida.
The Cruise Critic message boards are rife with rumors about the cause of Seitz's disappearance. In general, many if not most cases of people going overboard are found to be suicides, with alcohol-induced foolishness or sheer accidents other possibilities.
In its most recent statement, NCL says it "is cooperating fully with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who is investigating the cause of the incident in which a female guest traveling on Norwegian Pearl went overboard the evening of December 25, 2008 when the ship was off the coast of Cancun, Mexico."
We'll keep you posted as more details are revealed.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
Update: FBI Investigates Disappearance of Cruise Ship Passenger
Norwegian Pearl Passenger Is Still Missing
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Search, FBI Investigation Continue in Case of NCL Passenger Overboard
December 29, 2008