Pacific Dawn returning to Brisbane after search for passenger called off

Pacific Dawn turned around and searched for the passenger Pacific Dawn turned around and searched for the passenger

The search for a woman who fell from P&O’s Pacific Dawn around 4 p.m. Thursday  when the ship was 150 nautical miles west of New Caledonia was called off Friday morning and the ship is proceeding to Brisbane. It had left Brisbane last Saturday on a seven-night ‘Pacific Island Hopper’ cruise.

A statement from P&O Cruises Australia said the difficult decision to suspend the search was made only after expert advice that survival was not considered possible after so long in rough seas.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the guest’s family at this distressing time,’ the statement said. 
‘Pacific Dawn had searched through the night and into the morning after first light without success.
‘The search, which began immediately after a crew member reported a guest had been seen to go over the side of the ship, was suspended in consultation with maritime authorities.
‘Pacific Dawn has now resumed her course for Brisbane where preparations are being made for a late arrival.
‘Guests due to embark on the ship’s next cruise will be updated on boarding arrangements.’
A P&O spokesman said that, in line with normal procedures, the Pacific Dawn incident has been referred to Queensland police and to the coroner for appropriate inquiries.
Posted 13 April 2018

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Helen Hutcheon

Australasia correspondent