PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - A woman was found dead after falling overboard on the MSC Meraviglia cruise ship that was returning to Port Canaveral, Florida on Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
"A 36-year-old woman's body was recovered from the water approximately 18 miles offshore Port Canaveral Thursday morning after she went overboard the cruise ship Meraviglia. The cause of the incident is under investigation," the U.S. Coast Guard tweeted on Thursday.
Officials say no other details will be released until next of kin is notified. The U.S. Coast guard will transport the person back to Port to meet with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office who will take over the investigation.
Another passenger aboard the ship, Marisa Aebi, spoke to FOX 35 saying around 5 a.m. a female voice came over the loudspeaker saying "attention! Man overboard, Port side". Aebi told FOX 35 a few minutes later, an emergency horn was blared and passengers were asked to stay in their rooms.
She also reported seeing two barges and a pilot boat circling the ship. The cruise ship was about two hours away from Port Canaveral. The ship arrived back at the Port on Thursday morning.
MSC Meraviglia released a statement on Thursday regarding the passenger.
"Early this morning, MSC Meraviglia advanced detection systems alerted our crew to a passenger overboard while the ship was sailing to Port Canaveral. The crew performed an immediate search and rescue operation, alongside the US Coast Guard who supported search efforts with boats and a helicopter.
Unfortunately, despite the rapid rescue operation, the passenger sustained fatal injuries. We are offering our full support to authorities as they investigate this matter.
We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our sincerest condolences to the family and those affected."
FOX 35 is working to learn more details about the incident. Check back for updates.