HOPES of finding a couple, who went overboard from a cruise ship on the NSW Mid North Coast, were fading on Friday night.
Paul Rossington, 30 and his 26-year-old girlfriend Kristen Shroder were discovered missing from the Carnival Spirit when it docked in Sydney on Thursday morning.
A review of the ship's CCTV footage revealed the pair had plunged off a side rail, one after the other, about 8.50pm Wednesday.
At the time the ship was cruising off Forster.
Air and sea rescue crews and the Navy helped scour more than 60 miles of open water on Friday.
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said staff always kept a close eye on security cameras but as it was the last night of the cruise, "virtually everybody" was in public spaces on the ship and that's where staff focussed their attention.
She said it was "highly unlikely" the couple had fallen from the rail as they were higher than international guidelines demanded.
Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings said search crews had hoped they would discover the couple alive and well on Friday morning but night-time, conceded it was unlikely.
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