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Search called off for woman who fell off cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico

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Posted at 4:14 PM, May 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 00:33:24-04

The search for a missing cruise ship passenger in the Gulf of Mexico has been suspended, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Samantha Broberg’s travel companions reported the 33-year-old missing from the Carnival Liberty cruise ship on Friday, the cruise line said. The Carnival Liberty left Galveston, Texas, on Thursday on a four-day cruise of Mexico.

Surveillance footage indicates she fell overboard from the 10th deck early Friday morning. The footage suggests she was sitting on a deck railing and fell backwards into the water, Carnival said.

Planes spent 20 hours searching for Broberg in an area of more than 4,300 square miles before suspending search efforts on Sunday night.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told CNN Saturday that the search area’s distance from shore was complicating search efforts.

“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,” he said.