Norwegian Dawn - May 11, 2008
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Cruise Ship Person Overboard
Norwegian Dawn Passenger, May 11, 2008
Time of Death 7:55
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) searched for a woman who went missing on Mother's Day, May 11, 2008 during a cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norwegian Dawn.
The woman, Mindy Jordan, 46 a nurse from Pine Hill, New Jersey went overboard from her balcony while climbing on it during high winds. Jordan was sailing on the Norwegian Dawn when she went missing on Mother's Day, late that night.
The ship left New York City on Sunday and was sailing to Bermuda when the woman went missing around 1953 hours on May 11, 2008 45 miles northeast off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The USCG was notified at 2021 hours and sent out one helicopter at 2100 hours. At the time the ship had begun it's own search and rescue operation.
On Monday, the Coast Guard said continuing winds over 50 mph and heavy rain prevented it from resuming the search. Family was notified by Jordan's boyfriend who was sailing with her, 14 hours after she went overboard.
Louise Jordan of Bordentown, New Jersey said the missing woman was her daughter, Mindy Jordan, and her daughter's boyfriend, Jorge Caputo, age 56 of Pine Hill, New Jersey had phoned Jordan's family from the ship. The family says that Caputo was too casual when he reported that Jordan when overboard.
"What he told me on the phone was she fell over the railing and fell to something down on a lower deck and that he ran to try and save her but she lost her grip and fell.", Louise Jordan said. NCL has said that they were told Jordan was staying in a cabin on deck 9 with Caputo. She was outside on the balcony, trying to climb from her balcony to an adjoining balcony when she lost her grip and fell to a deck below. From there, she lost her grip again and fell into the sea. This account was given to them by Caputo.
Other passengers who saw Jordan within minutes of the incident, say she did not appear to have been drinking or to have been drunk. NCL has released information from video tape footage aboard Norwegian Dawn during the time period covering this incident.
At 1928 hours Jordan and Caputo returned to their cabin from dining with their friends.
At 1936 hours Caputo left their cabin to visit with the friends next door. At that time Jordan was alone in her cabin.
At 1953 hours Jordan is seen on the balcony alone, standing on the railing, losing her grip and falling. The petite, 100 pound woman was no match for the high winds in the area at the time.
Jordan and Caputo had been together for about two and half years, having lived together. Though more recently the two had been living apart. The family says that Jordan had been in an abusive relationship, and because of that, prior to the release of the video tape footage, the family thought Jordan had met with foul play.
Recent water temperatures off Atlantic City have been running below average at 51°F. The average temperature for this time period is 54°F. At that temperature even the best survival swimmer is not expected to make it beyond six hours with most lasting only an hour or two.
Up to 5 inches of rain fell across the region from Sunday afternoon into Monday, with another half-inch possible in some areas. This storm produced heavy rain causing floods in the mid-Atlantic region Monday, knocking out power to up to 70,000 customers, flooding roads and chasing people out of their homes.
Meanwhile on the cruise, the weather has been horrible with high winds and rain and not getting better. As of Monday afternoon, Bermuda was getting pounded by thunderstorms from this storm system that wrecked havoc in the U.S. Showers were to continue into Tuesday, with high winds on Wednesday when the ship was due to arrive.
The ship will return into severe weather along the U.S. coast as well. Rain is expected on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, making for heavy seas between Bermuda and the U.S. east coast, resulting in not such a nice Mother's Day present for those who booked this cruise. It likely going to be labeled a cruise from hell for more than one family.
The FBI is meeting the ship in Bermuda to begin their investigation and the USGC is doing their own investigation.
Also due to this storm, the UCCG rescued two men from the RV Russell W. Peterson research ship, which was only launched in March to study Delaware's offshore wind power resources.