FBI investigating death from domestic dispute on Alaska cruise ship

ANCHORAGE — A domestic dispute aboard a cruise ship led to the death of a 39-year-old Utah woman, and the FBI is investigating what happened in U.S. waters off Alaska, the agency said Wednesday.


Princess Cruises said the woman died Tuesday night on the Emerald Princess, which was carrying 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members on a weeklong trip that left Sunday from Seattle. Company spokeswoman Negin Kamali declined to provide any other details about the case, referring questions to the FBI.

FBI spokeswoman Staci Feger-Pellessier said no arrests had yet been made, but a team was heading to Juneau.

The ship was diverted to Juneau because of the investigation, arriving nearly five hours ahead of schedule on Wednesday morning, said S. Kirby Day III with the cruise line. The 3,400 passengers waited on board for more than eight hours as authorities investigated the death

Passengers were seen taking photos of Gastineau Channel and Juneau from the decks and balconies of the ship.

No further schedule changes were expected for the cruise, which was set to leave late Wednesday and head to the southeast Alaska town of Skagway, Kamali said.

But conversations are underway to offer passengers some compensation for lost time, such as providing credits for shore excursions, she said.

Before the passengers were let off the vessel late Wednesday afternoon, several people including one child were escorted by authorities off the vessel in two separate groups. Most were wearing white and gray hooded sweat shirts. The hoods and umbrellas obscured their faces.

The groups were taken to vehicles with dark-tinted windows waiting in a restricted area of the port, and the people were whisked away.

The FBI said it is required to step in when such deaths occur in international or U.S. waters.

• Associated Press writer Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.


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