Queensland Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the loss of a woman overboard from P&O Cruises' Pacific Dawn cruise ship last week.
The search for the 47-year-old Brisbane woman was called off after her survival in rough seas over an extended period of time was deemed impossible.
In a statement to Traveltalk, P&O Cruises said the ship had “turned around after an adult female guest was seen to go over the side of the ship while it was at sea approximately 150 nautical miles from New Caledonia”.
“A crew member notified the bridge straight away and the ‘man overboard’ incident response was activated immediately,” it said. “In line with this response, Pacific Dawn turned around to follow the course it was on at the time of the incident.”
However, after launching a search late yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, and searching without success throughout the night and into the morning, it became clear the woman had not survived.
“The difficult decision to suspend the search was made only after expert advice that survival after this length of time in difficult sea conditions and after a full night at sea was not considered possible,” Carnival Australia spokesman David Jones said in a statement.
According to the ABC, the woman was on a cruise with family.
“The time frame for survivability was quite limited due to the weather conditions that included four metre swells, 30 knot winds and darkness, and because we knew the missing passenger was not wearing a life jacket,” said a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), who terminated the search at 7.30am.
Pacific Dawn was on a seven-night cruise from Brisbane to the South Pacific with calls to Noumea, Lifou and Port Vila completed.
[UPDATED 17 APRIL 2018]