A Carnival cruise ship passenger fell overboard early Friday morning into the Gulf of Mexico. Video footage taken from the Carnival Liberty actually shows the woman falling overboard Friday morning around 2 a.m. An ABC News report on Sunday says the desperate search for 33-year-old Samantha Broberg is entering its third day.
After searching for most of the day on Friday and all day Saturday for the stay-at-home mother of four from Arlington, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a statement Saturday evening saying that Ocean Sentry aircrews had stopped the search for the night and planned to resume at first light on Sunday morning.
According to the statement, Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crews from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, and Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, have alternated their search strategy since Broberg fell from the Carnival cruise ship about 195 miles southeast of the Galveston, Texas, coast. As of Saturday evening, airplane crews had saturated a 30 by 50 nautical mile area with a total combined search area of more than 3,000 square miles.A statement issued by Carnival on Friday says that Samantha Broberg was reported missing by her travel companions around noon that day. After an extensive roll call of passengers and a "very thorough" ship-wide search was conducted, a review of camera footage revealed that Broberg had actually gone overboard. Carnival officials then notified authorities and the Coast Guard about 15 hours after Broberg went overboard. The 8th Coast Guard District command center immediately initiated a search of the area where the ship was located when Broberg fell overboard.
Said one passenger, Jo Trizila, shortly after stewards checked rooms, closets, bathrooms, looked under beds, and looked out onto balconies, an announcer asked everyone on board the Carnival cruise ship to keep the Broberg family in their thoughts and prayers.
Another passenger, Linda Lopez, said Carnival officials "wanted to check every single room to make sure that every guest was in their room. They were just keeping us updated like 'we have not found her.'"The Carnival Liberty ship, one of 25 ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet of ships, reportedly left Galveston, Texas, on Thursday for a four-day cruise to Mexico. Carnival Liberty is based in Galveston, Texas, year-round. Surveillance video shows that Samantha Broberg fell from the balcony of her stateroom not even one day after the Carnival cruise ship departed Galveston.
Coast Guard crews have so far found no signs of Broberg in their two-day search efforts that started midday on Friday and continues into the third day on Sunday. According to Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick in a CNN report, since the search area is so offshore and very difficult to get to, airplanes equipped with video and infrared sensors are the quickest and most effective way the Coast Guard can search right now.Kendrick also said their focus is to find and rescue Samantha Broberg, not to determine a motive for why she may have gone overboard the Carnival cruise ship. Not yet released by authorities is who Broberg was traveling with, but she's the wife of Texas-based racehorse trainer Karl Broberg, named the most successful trainer in 2015, according to ESPN on December 25 of last year.
Family members of Samantha Broberg issued a statement that's shared on Star-Telegram out of Fort Worth, Texas. According to the statement, Broberg's family holds out hope that she will be rescued. The statement went on to say that Broberg's family is shocked and deeply saddened by the incident that occurred on the Carnival cruise ship.
"We hope and pray the U.S. Coast Guard is able to bring Samantha home."
Speculation surrounds the video footage, and some are saying that it's almost impossible to just fall off a cruise ship balcony unless you're intoxicated, someone pushes you overboard, or you want to commit suicide. According to one public comment on People.com, the railings on a Carnival cruise balcony are high enough that someone can't just "fall over," and the video surveillance shows that no one tossed Broberg overboard. A motive is not being considered at this time, but why or how do you think Samantha Broberg fell off the Carnival cruise ship balcony on Friday the 13th? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
[Image via Chargarther/Wikimedia Commons]