A WOMAN sailing on a Carnival Cruise Line ship from Florida fell from her cabin's balcony and died.
Fox News reported the accident happened aboard Carnival Elation early Friday morning, when the woman plunged "several decks below," according to a statement that Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen gave to the Miami Herald.
The ship was on a four-day Bahamas cruise from Jacksonville that departed on Thursday; the woman has not yet been identified.
"The ship's medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away," Gulliksen said in a statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and her family," he said.
Tampa resident Maureen La Bryer, whose daughter and son-in-law Megan and Matthew Burdewick are on the Elation, told the Herald that they texted her about the incident. The Burdewick's said their cabin was near that of the woman who fell.
"We weren't [allowed] off the boat to Freeport until they investigated it. They were taking pictures [and everything]," Megan Burdewick texted her mother, according to text messages La Bryer shared with the Herald."
She added that, after the fall, "there was blood everywhere."
In October, an 8-year-old girl fell over the inner railings of a Carnival Glory ship to her death.
The incident comes amid a spate of negative stories involving cruise ships.
On Jan. 2, about 200 passengers aboard a Sea Princess Cruise ship were sickened with a norovirus outbreak. Last month, more than 300 passengers on the Independence of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, fell ill with a stomach virus.
CASINO SHUTTLE BOAT DEATH
The death aboard the Carnival Elation came after a female passenger died hours after a casino boat caught fire off Florida's Gulf Coast, forcing her and about 50 other passengers and crew to jump into the chilly waters to escape.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point spokesman Kurt Conover said Monday that the woman died late Sunday, shortly after she arrived at the hospital's emergency room at 10pm. He said she had apparently gone home after the fire but became ill.
Her name has not been released and a cause of death has not been determined. He said eight other passengers were treated at the hospital and released.
Port Richey police said 15 people were injured in the fire and it was originally believed that none of the injuries were life threatening.
The shuttle boat caught fire about 4pm. Sunday, quickly engulfing the boat close to shore near residential neighbourhoods.
Port Richey Police Chief Gerard DeCanio said the shuttle boat experienced engine problems after leaving the dock at Port Richey, a suburban community about 55km northwest of Tampa. But as the vessel turned back, flames kicked up and people began jumping overboard into shallow water, according to witness accounts.
Larry Santangelo, 57, said he had just driven into his neighbourhood when he saw smoke and fire and thought a house - possibly his own - was ablaze.
But then he realised it was the boat just about 91m offshore.
He told the Tampa Bay Times that he then saw people wandering about confused, wet and cold, after they reached land.
One woman collapsed upon reaching shore and vomited, he said.
Santangelo said he took about 30 of the passengers into his garage to warm up and recover.
"It was so windy and they were soaking wet," said Santangelo. He worried that some might suffer from hypothermia.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire, which sent a huge plume of dark black smoke wafting over sunny skies on an unusually chilly winter day in the Tampa Bay region.
"It looked pretty dramatic because the shuttle boat burned really fast," DeCanio told The Associated Press by phone.
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