Woman on cruise ship talks about events after passenger went overboard

Woman on cruise ship talks about events after passenger went overboard

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The US Coast Guard is searching the water near the Bahamas for 32-year-old Rina Patel who reportedly fell overboard from the Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship early Wednesday morning.

For the 2,300 people onboard the ship, it was a chaotic Wednesday morning.

"We were woken up by the sounds of the horns at 2:45 a.m. and them coming over the loud speakers, 'step aside man overboard, step aside man overboard' and I guess when you're waking up from your sleep you just kind of think, is this a drill?" Tammy Dean from Summerville said.

This cruise to the Bahamas on board the Carnival Ecstasy is Dean's 8th cruise with the Carnival Cruise line.

"I've never experienced anything like this before," Dean said.

The ship left Charleston Saturday, Sept. 3 for a 5-day cruise.

Many went to bed Tuesday hoping to soon celebrate the last full day of the trip.

The turn of events Wednesday morning changed that.

"I'm anxious," Dean said. "It doesn't really seem like there's a lot of partying going on right now. I was kind of hoping that they would have a recovery,
so I don't really know how it's going to turn out."

According to the United States Coast Guard, a 32-year-old woman went overboard around 2:30 Wednesday morning.

Some passengers reported she jumped and fell 100 feet into the water.

The cruise ship stopped immediately to search.

"We could see power rafts and the lights on them," Dean said. "There were a couple of those out in the water. I'm sure there were probably a couple
more on the other side. Yea, I guess it was just kind of surreal."
When the crew members couldn't find her, the Coast Guard took over the search and the Carnival Ecstasy continued toward Charleston.
Tammy said instead enjoying the last bit of the cruise, like planned, she can't stop thinking about what happened. 
"A lot of people on board have been praying for the victim and their family," Dean said.
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