Coast Guard suspends search for missing cruise ship passenger

File photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard

MIAMI — The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing cruise ship passenger southwest of Freeport, Bahamas, at 7:32 p.m. Thursday.

Rina Patel, 32, from Interlaken, New York, was reported missing Wednesday from the Carnival Ecstasy, approximately 27 miles southwest of Freeport, Bahamas.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones and all that have been affected by this tragedy,” said Capt. Todd Coggeshall, chief of response management for the Coast Guard’s 7th District. “Suspending search efforts is always a painful decision, but despite our best efforts we have been unable to locate Rina and have made the difficult decision to suspend the search pending any further developments.”

The Coast Guard’s 7th District command center coordinated 43 hours of searching with Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews, Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews, the Coast Guard Cutter Gannet and the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin. The crews covered a combined search area total of more than 2,800 square miles.

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