SYDNEY, April 13 (Xinhua) -- A cruise ship gave up searching for the passenger who fell from the deck 200 nautical miles west of New Caledonia on Friday, with hopes of survival all but lost as weather conditions worsen.
Believed to have been on a family holiday with her husband and children, the woman reportedly fell from Carnival Australia's Pacific Dawn ship on Thursday afternoon.
Passengers onboard told local media that her husband saw the incident and was suffering signs of shock.
According to the company's spokesperson, a crew member notified the bridge immediately and life rings were thrown overboard.
The ship then retraced its course in an attempt to locate her, but no sign of the woman was found.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I need to let you know that we have been unable to locate our guest," the captain of the Dawn Pacific told passengers on Friday morning.
"We are still in the area of the incident, and the weather conditions with the swell three to four metres high, as you can see outside, the strong wind made our search extremely challenging."
"As a result, we have now made the extremely difficult decision to continue our journey towards Brisbane."
Queensland Police and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, along with authorities in New Caledonian are now investigating the matter and search alerts have been issued for nearby vessels to assist the operation.
The cruise-liner is expected to arrive back in Brisbane Saturday morning.