December 28, 2016 / 4:59 PM / 7 months ago

U.S. Coast Guard ends search for cruise ship passenger off New Jersey

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NEW YORK, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard has called off a search for a woman who went missing from the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship off the coast of New Jersey over the Christmas holiday weekend, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The 74-year-old passenger was reported missing in the early hours of Friday about 100 nautical miles (185 km) southeast of Atlantic City, said Petty Officer David Micallef.

It was not immediately clear how the woman disappeared from the Caribbean-bound ship, which is operated by Cunard Cruise Line, a unit of Carnival Corp.

The woman was presumed overboard, Cunard said in a statement to local media. "Cunard's care team is offering every support to the family," the statement said. A spokeswoman could not immediately be reached.

The Coast Guard launched a search from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, with a C-130 plane and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, and covered hundreds of nautical square miles, but called it off at darkness on Friday, Micallef said.

The ship helped in the search, returning to the position where the woman was reported missing, he said. It had left New York City hours before she disappeared, and resumed its course for St. Maarten, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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