Chaotic video shows a woman being detained aboard a Carnival cruise ship shortly before she reportedly jumped overboard from her balcony and vanished in the Gulf of Mexico.
The cell phone footage obtained by Fox 8 shows the 32-year-old woman being restrained by security guards who hold her hands behind her back as she screams “Alicia” before being led away from the pool deck.
The video then cuts to the frantic scene of passengers and crew members rushing to a railing, where a life preserver is seen being tossed overboard.
Chilling images then show the empty preserver floating in the water.
Despite claims by passengers, a Carnival spokesman told The Post that the woman had not been handcuffed during the incident aboard the Carnival Valor.
“Carnival Valor supported the search for a guest who jumped overboard from her balcony on Wednesday afternoon while the ship was at sea. The ship’s command immediately began search and rescue procedures, returned to the area near where the incident occurred and notified the US Coast Guard,” spokesman Matt Lupoli said in an email.
“Carnival’s CARE team is providing support to the guest’s husband who was traveling with her, as well as her family,” he added. “Coast Guard officials took over the search effort and released Carnival Valor on Wednesday evening. Our thoughts are with our guest’s family.”
The woman was traveling with her husband on a five-day cruise to Mexico, Lupoli told NOLA.com.
It was unclear from the published video when the woman jumped and under what circumstances after being led away.
The Coast Guard said it searched about 2,500 square miles over 14 hours for the woman before suspending the effort, NOLA.com reported.
“The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never one we come to lightly,” Coast Guard spokesperson Chief Warrant Officer Tricia Eldredge told Fox 8.
“We offer our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time,” she added.
The ship, which carries 2,980 guests and 1,180 crew members, was sailing from Cozumel, Mexico, to New Orleans when the woman jumped. It reportedly docked about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Several passengers have told WAFB that the woman jumped after an incident between her and a man in the hot tub area on the 10th deck.
“Security got her out of the hot tub. Whenever they got to take her into custody, apparently she was upset and went over the rail,” Baton Rouge resident Kim Barnette told the outlet.
Some witnesses said she had been cuffed but that they did not know whether she was still restrained when she broke free and jumped, NOLA.com reported.
The company refutes the claims she was handcuffed.
Emil Avenarius, of Pensacola, Florida, who took the cruise after retiring from a 31-year-career in law enforcement, told the outlet he headed to the scene when he heard the “Man overboard” call.
“Security tried to calm her down, and she was belligerent toward them. They had to restrain her because she was combative,” Avenarius told NOLA.com.
“She broke loose and flipped herself over the side,” he said, adding that an eyewitness described seeing her head strike a lifeboat as she fell overboard.
“She saw blood when [the woman] hit the water and jerking motions. She said it looked like a seizure, and I said that might have happened with the head injury,” Avenarius said.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism