Update: Body Found in Search for Passenger Missing from Holland America Ship

August 4, 2009

Update, 7 a.m. EDT: The Associated Press is reporting that Alaska state troopers identified the woman believed to have fallen overboard as Amber Malkuch from Washington state. Holland America has yet to release a statement.

(4:30 a.m. EDT) -- The Coast Guard has found a woman's body during its search for a passenger who went missing from Holland America's Zaandam, currently on a seven-night cruise in Alaska.

The crew of a commercial helicopter helping in the search found a body at about 4:30 p.m. local time on Monday on the west side of Douglas Island.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that the search for the missing passenger will continue until the body found is identified as her's.

A 45-year-old woman had been declared missing on Monday after the ship was thoroughly searched and she was not found onboard. The Coast Guard searched the waters between Douglas Island and Glacier Bay National Park, where the ship sailed on Sunday night.

The woman's last contact with ship's staff was at 12:30 a.m. yesterday, and she was reported missing by her stateroom companion at 9 a.m. local time on Monday. Holland America notified the authorities in accordance with marine regulations.

A spokesperson from Holland America in the U.K. said the company would issue a statement later today.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor