F.B.I., Bermuda Authorities Prep for Woman Overboard Case

May 14, 2008

While Cruise Critic's message boards and TV news organizations' Web sites are screaming with speculation and theories about how Mindy Jordan went overboard Sunday from Norwegian Dawn, the Bermuda authorities, the F.B.I. and Norwegian Cruise Line are quietly working to resolve exactly what happened.

What we know for certain is that Ms. Jordan, 46, was traveling with her fiance Jorge Caputo on Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda. They were with friends who had an adjacent cabin. At approximately 7:50 p.m. on Sunday, almost four hours after Dawn left New York, NCL was notified of a "person overboard." The ship stopped to look for the passenger, and the Coast Guard sent two rescue helicopters. The winds were near 78 miles per hour and the seas near 20 feet at the time of the search operation, which was called off within a couple of hours.

Norwegian Dawn was cleared to continue on to Bermuda at around midnight on Sunday. The Coast Guard returned Monday morning to continue the search but dismantled the operation by Monday afternoon, citing the fact that survival under the circumstances would be impossible. During the investigations, NCL authorities learned that Ms. Jordan, a home-care nurse and mother of two teens from Pine Hill, New Jersey, was apparently attempting to climb over the balcony to the adjacent cabin's balcony while the vessel was underway, lost her grip, and fell.

"Who knows, we weren't there," Ms. Jordan's sister, Julie August, told reporter Jim Walsh of New Jersey's Courier Post newspaper. "But something is wrong. She was a professional; she wouldn't be climbing up on balconies."

The family, Ms. Jordan's mother in particular, is demanding an investigation to determine if there was foul play. The F.B.I., which according to media reports had planned to conduct its investigation upon the return of the ship and Mr. Caputo (who had no choice but to continue on, at least until Bermuda), will now most likely go to Bermuda and board Norwegian Dawn with the Bermuda authorities.

We will know more as the day progresses, and will keep you posted.

--by Jana Jones, Cruise Critic contributor

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