Coast Guard Was Not Alerted Until 15 Hours After Passenger Plunged Into Ocean
As the Carnival Liberty returns to port in Galveston, Texas, new questions are being asked about the missing passenger that plunged off the deck.
Samantha Broberg, 33, fell off the deck of the ship at 2 a.m. Friday but the coastguard wasn't notified until 5 p.m. the next day – 15 hours later.
Carnival says no one saw Broberg fall.
Her traveling companions say they raised the alarm at 9 a.m. when she wasn't in her cabin.
Inside Edition spoke with passenger Jo Trizila, a Dallas resident who said: “There were announcements every 30 minutes and then every 5 minutes – ‘Would Samantha Broberg please report to the bursars station.’”
The captain ordered a search of the ship and staff circulated a picture of Broberg at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“It was very somber, very concerning,” Trizila said, “There was a lot of talk wondering if there was a murder on board - something sinister.”
It wasn't until 5 p.m. Saturday after they had reviewed the surveillance footage and spotted Broberg climbing a railing and falling backwards off the ship, that they called the Coast Guard.
"We searched over 3,000 cumulative miles looking for Ms. Broberg or any signs of life," Lt. Commander Mike Wolfe of the U.S. Coast Guard told Inside Edition.
He said that the Coast Guard's systems estimated that she could have survived up to "60 hours" and "given the Gulf temperature this time of year could be up to 120 hours."
On Monday, the FBI will begin their investigation into Broberg’s fall.
In a statement to Inside Edition, Carnival said: "Ship’s command was notified she was missing early afternoon. A ship wide search and review of camera footage was initiated simultaneously. It is important to understand that with rare exception missing persons reports on a cruise ship are false alarms. The footage involved multiple cameras and many hours of video since it was not known when she may have gone over. Man overboard technology is being tested throughout the cruise industry. The technology has historically been unreliable with an excessive amount of false alarms. We are continuing to test it though. Foul play is not suspected and local reports about blood and a knife are erroneous. This was a very tragic event."
The company added: “Sitting on a cruise ship railing is akin to sitting on the balcony railing of a high rise hotel. It is very risky and dangerous and against our rules.”