Search ongoing for cruise ship passenger who went overboard near Spain

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By Yuliya Talmazan  with NBC News World News
Search ongoing for cruise ship passenger who went overboard near Spain
Search and rescue crews were notified of a missing passenger aboard Norwegian Epic cruise ship Saturday morning.   -  Copyright  Norwegian Cruise Line Facebook

A search is underway for a passenger who went overboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

Cruise Norwegian told NBC News the company received a report on Saturday that an adult passenger went overboard while the Norwegian Epic cruise ship was sailing from Cannes, France to the Spanish island Mallorca.

The company said local authorities were immediately notified, and a search and rescue operation was launched.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual's family during this difficult time," a spokesman for the company said in a statement.

Passengers aboard the cruise ship said on Twitter that they were asked to assist in the search.

Samantha Fox from Long Island told NBC News they were informed Saturday morning that a passenger was missing and that the ship was not going to its next stop.

"We were turning around and heading back to where they believe the missing passenger was last seen," Fox said. "When we arrived at the spot, they urged passengers to look out in the water for a person with pink pajamas."

She said that at around 8 p.m. on Saturday the passengers were told no one was found.

Cruise Norwegian confirmed that as of Sunday morning the passenger had not yet been located.

Miguel Chicon, head of Maritime search and rescue in Palma de Mallorca, told NBC News that after checking CCTV cameras on board the ship, the crew determined that the passenger disappeared at around 5 a.m. on Saturday.

Chicon said a helicopter, a military plane and a rescue ship were dispatched to comb the area for the missing passenger.

The search had to be stopped after dark and the ship headed to Barcelona, Spain. Rescuers resumed the search Sunday morning.

The name, age and nationality of the missing passenger have not been released.