Body of 23-Year-Old Woman Found After Cruise Ship MOB off Australia

Pacific Explorer cruise ship
Pacific Explorer (file image courtesy P&O)

Published Dec 14, 2022 6:35 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority reports that the body of a woman who went over the side of a cruise ship in the Great Australian Bight has been recovered, ending an overnight search. 

The 23-year-old victim was a passenger aboard the cruise ship Pacific Explorer, which was on a cruise from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island. Under circumstances which are under investigation, she went over the side at some point before 2330 hours on Tuesday. Weather was rough at the time, consistent with typical conditions off the coast of Cape Jaffa, south of Adelaide. 

AMSA dispatched search aircraft to scour a 55 square nautical mile area centered about 25 nm off the cape. The Pacific Explorer remained on scene to assist with the search as well. Conditions were "extremely poor," the agency told local media, with winds of 25 knots and 12-foot swells.

The search continued through the night and into the next morning. A helicopter from New South Wales Police's Aviation Command (PolAir) found the body at about 0700 hours on Wednesday, and recovered it from the water for transport to shore. 

One family member was traveling with the victim, according to Carnival Australia. "We continue to provide care and assistance to the family member this guest was travelling with and extend our deepest condolences to their loved ones," the cruise operator said. "Relevant authorities have been advised and we will continue to work with them and provide any assistance required."

The cruise was canceled after the casualty, and Pacific Explorer has returned to Port Melbourne.