THE Coast Guard is searching for a woman in her 20s who reportedly went overboard while on a Carnival cruise ship near Mexico.
A paramedic onboard the Carnival Miracle ship has suggested there is "high suspicion of foul play" in the incident that happened in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The woman reportedly fell from the ship 35 miles off the coast of Mexico, close to Ensenada.
The ship had left the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in California on December 9 and was scheduled to return on Saturday as part of a three-day voyage.
However, passengers were woken up by an alert after 3am on Saturday when the unidentified woman fell from the fifth-floor balcony of her stateroom.
According to CBS, many are concerned that foul play is involved.
“Someone has lost their life, whether it was done by accident or by foul play I don’t know – there’s some high suspicion of foul play," Daniel Miranda, a passenger on the ship and paramedic, told CBS.
"A lot of people are concerned because that’s somebody’s life, and that’s a high likelihood that this person will not be found alive.
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“They immediately did their best efforts to get crews out on little boats and rescue, to start a search,” Miranda added.
“They had crew literally around the deck to look all the way around the ship to be able to see if somebody was out in the water.
"They had lights out in the water trying to flash out there, but again it’s pretty dark.”
Carnival confirmed the tragedy and said that support is being made available.
"We advised Carnival Miracle guests this morning of an overboard incident involving one of our guests from the balcony of her stateroom," the company said in a statement.
"Our thoughts are with the guest and her family, and our care team is providing support.”
In an update on Sunday afternoon, the Coast Guard said it is standing down the search after 31 hours.
"USCG conducted first light searches this morning off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico with negative results," it said in a tweet.
"USCG assets are transiting back to US waters."
The Mexican Navy is also helping with the search.
The Carnival Miracle has a guest capacity of 2,124 and has an estimated 934 crew onboard.
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