Search underway for missing cruise ship passenger in Gulf of Mexico

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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

An air search resumed Saturday for a missing cruise ship passenger who may have gone overboard in the Gulf of Mexico.

Samantha Broberg, 33, was reported missing from the Carnival Liberty cruise ship Friday morning, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said it’s launching aircraft from Mobile, Alabama, and Corpus Christi, Texas.

“The search area is so offshore, almost 200 miles southeast of Galveston, so it’s way out there and very difficult to get to and get any resources out to it. Basically airplanes are the quickest and most effective way we can search right now,” Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told CNN.

“The search area they are saturating is about 30 by 50 nautical miles,” Kendrick said.

The aircraft are similar to C-130s and are equipped with video and infrared sensors to help search for people in the water.

Kendrick said the focus of their investigation right now is to rescue the victim, not to determine a motive for why she may have gone overboard.

Carnival Cruise Lines said Broberg was reported missing by traveling companions. After a ship-wide search and a review of surveillance video, “it appears the guest may have gone overboard.”

The Coast Guard said it got a call from the ship saying it had video of a woman falling overboard about 2 a.m.

The Carnival Liberty, which is based in Galveston, left Thursday on a four-day cruise of Mexico.

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