Woman missing after falling overboard on cruise ship, conditions described as ‘rough’

A search is underway for a woman who fell overboard on the P&O Cruises ship Pacific Dawn about 150 nautical miles off the coast of New Caledonia, an archipelago east of Australia, according to an Australian news agency.

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A statement from P&O Cruises said the woman fell around 4 p.m. AEST on Thursday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

"A crew member notified the bridge straightaway and the 'man overboard' incident response was activated immediately,"  P&O spokesman David Jones said.

The ship turned around to follow the course it had been on at the time of the incident, Jones said.

Search conditions were described as poor, with 13-foot swells and 30-knot winds.

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The ship issued a call for any nearby vessels to help in the search, and was conducting a search on its own in the meantime, according to a spokesperson with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

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The Pacific Dawn left Brisbane last weekend for a weeklong cruise of the Pacific Islands, AAP reported.

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