The search for Natalie Molina, a crew member of the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship, has finally been suspended after a rigorous search that began early last Thursday morning.
The Coast Guard was notified about the incident at around 5:30 AM when Miss Molina could not be found in her cabin. They immediately launched a search to establish her whereabouts. Authorities called off the search Friday evening around 5:00 PM as there was still no sign of Molina, alive or dead.
Confirming the incident, Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said that closed-circuit video footage obtained from the ship clearly shows Molina falling overboard as the ship sailed from Seattle. Rios is the official spokesman for the Juneau Coast Guard. That is just about all that is known about the incident so far, along with stories put together from what appear now to have been her last moments aboard.
Another official, Petty Officer Blake Fleming, Juneau Coast Guard’s command duty officer, said that they were forced to call off the search after about 42 hours of concentrated labor, which included the use of 13 different search patterns over a 340-square-mile area. Among the many groups that took part in the search for Natalie were response crews on Sitka helicopters from the Coast Guard Air Station and Alaska State Troopers as well as Ketchikan boat crews.
The 25-year-old Natalie Molina—known to friends and workmates as Natty—was working as part of the cruise ship’s crew and appeared happy in photographs taken as the ship left Seattle on an Alaskan cruise to Glacier Bay. Unfortunately for her, her stay aboard the Norwegian Pearl came to a sudden end when the ship reached Funter Bay, on the western end of Juneau. Her happy appearance in pictures and posts on her social media accounts prior to the incident is just one of the things that have confused authorities regarding the incident.
Authorities are now turning their attention to Natty’s friends and workmates at the Norwegian Pearl to find more clues about possible causes of her death. Her last moments seem to tell the story of a happy young woman who had found new love and was fully enjoying it. The man in question is another young Norwegian Pearl crew member whom she identified as Kovacevic Osman and who worked as part of the ship’s youth staff.
The Norwegian Pearl set sail from Seattle on September 4th on a cruise to Glacier Bay. It was supposed to be a routine, eight-day cruise around Alaska before the tragedy forced a change in the itinerary.
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