CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Carnival Ecstasy passengers say they woke up the sound of "man overboard" blaring through their cabins Wednesday morning when Rina Patel, a 32-year-old New York woman, reportedly fell overboard.
Tonya Wooddell says she and her party were near the rear of the cruise ship when the alarm sounded. She recalls a man looking for his wife.
Passengers tell live 5 news the search missions they witnessed were both thorough and instant.
Wooddell recalls flares going up into the dark sky.
Debra White says passengers took to their cabin windows and the ships deck to spot the woman on their own.
Authorities say Patel fell from the eleventh deck early Wednesday morning from the Ecstasy, which returned to the port of Charleston Thursday morning.
Coast Guard officials announced Thursday night they had suspended their search for Patel. Officials say they searched more than 2,300 square miles near the Bahamas for the woman.