Costa Mediterranea - March 9, 2008
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Cruise Ship Person Overboard
Costa Mediterranea Passenger, March 9, 2008
Time of Death 1:15
Tina White, age 39, from Bonita Springs, Florida, has been reported missing while on a voyage aboard the Costa Cruises Mediterranea on March 9, 2008.
Ms White, was last seen aboard the ship about 0115 hours off the coast of the Florida Keys, about 20 miles southeast of Key Largo. She was traveling with her boyfriend, Andy Hopkins.
The Coast Guard Cutters Farallon and Confidence, a HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami and a C-130 Hercules from Air Station Clearwater, Florida were dispatched to conduct the search.
Coast Guard crews searched a 3,000 square mile area with no sign of Tina White.
The search was suspended at 1500 hours the next day.
Costa Mediterranea has a passenger capacity of 2,114 with a crew of 897. The ship is currently taking 7-day cruises into the Caribbean, departing from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The ship is in port at this moment.
Some of Ms White's family members have come forward to question the account of her presumed death. They don't believe she jumped overboard.
White's mother, Kathleen O'Hearn, said that she talked to her daughter's boyfriend, Andy Hopkins, after he returned home. "I spoke to him and he said he saw her go over the railing," O'Hearn said. The USCG also told her that her daughter and the man she sailed with were arguing when the incident took place.
White's brother, Toby McRory, 31, says he is not buying the account of the overboard. McRory says that his sister is afraid of both of water and heights, and would have not have 'jumped' overboard, nor even put herself at risk of 'falling' overboard.
Mr McRory said Tina White and Andy Hopkins had a "rocky relationship". "But my sister loved him because she kept going back to him," McRory said.