The body of a 75-year-old female traveller has been found at sea by search and rescue authorities.
The passenger went overboard on a cruise ship earlier this month, in an incident that sparked a major search and rescue operation involving Belgian, Norwegian, and US NATO vessels.
The woman, whose body was found at sea, was allegedly travelling on the Costa Pacifica, operated by Costa Cruises.
A company spokesperson told Newsweek that crew members had been alerted by a witness who allegedly saw the unnamed passenger “voluntarily jump from the balcony of their cabin”.
After a full day of searching, the body of the missing person was retrieved around 9am local time on Friday 11 October in the Gulf of Cadiz area by Spanish authorities, a statement by Allied Maritime Command confirmed.
Standing NATO Maritime Forces had assisted in search and rescue for a person reported missing from an Italian cruise ship sailing off the coast of Spain.
“NATO naval forces received a ‘man overboard’ mayday call at 22:26pm on Thursday. Originally participating in NATO exercise Dynamic Mariner/ Flotex-19 in the area, NATO ships re-routed to assist search and rescue operations,” the statement read.
The Spanish Maritime Safety and Rescue Society, known locally as Salvamento Marítimo, confirmed the body of a passenger who had gone overboard had been discovered around 10:45pm local time.
Pasajera de un crucero caída de la cubierta 8 ayer (22.43h).Se ha buscado de forma ininterrumpida.Helimer 207 localiza el cuerpo esta mañana 45mn SW Trafalgar.El buque MªZambrano lo ha recuperado;se dirige a Algeciras;llegará a media tarde.Han participado medios de la OTAN pic.twitter.com/4ywqIuPikm
— SALVAMENTO MARÍTIMO (@salvamentogob) October 11, 2019
“Costa Cruises regrets to confirm that on October 10 night while Costa Pacifica was sailing between Funchal and Malaga, a 75 year-old female passenger was reported overboard,” the cruise line said.
“The Costa care team moved to provide full assistance to the travel partner and parents of the missing guest,” a spokesperson for the company told Newsweek.
Travel Weekly has contacted Costa Cruises for comment.
Featured image: Aerial view over the Costa Pacifica cruiser ship in Stockholm archipelago/iStock