Rescuers search for woman missing from cruise ship

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009

SEATTLE - U.S. and Canadian ships and aircraft are searching for a passenger who is missing from a cruise ship traveling from Ketchikan, Alaska, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The 67-year-old woman was reported missing to the U.S. Coast Guard about 11 a.m. today.

The woman, a U.S. citizen, was noticed to be missing when she didn't leave the Sapphire Princess after it arrived in Vancouver this morning. The Princess Cruises ship left Ketchikan on Monday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard said its search area begins in Ketchikan and runs 86 miles south to include Dixon Entrance, Tongass Narrows and the northern end of Hecate Strait. Crews are using a plane, helicopter and boat. Canadian authorities are searching along the British Columbia coast from Hecate Strait south about 500 miles to Vancouver, B.C. The cruise ship has been searched by crew; no signs of the woman were found, the Coast Guard said, and her belongings were found in her stateroom. Her name is being withheld until next-of-kin are notified.

In August, another passenger went missing from an Alaska cruise ship. Amber Malkuch of Snohomish County, Wash., who was traveling aboard Holland America's Zaandam cruise ship, was found dead in the waters off Alaska's Douglas Island. Foul play was not suspected.

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