A COUPLE is believed to have gone overboard while on a luxury cruise sparking a major sea and air search off the NSW mid-north coast.
The search by the NSW police and Australian Search and Rescue for the man, 30, and woman 27 is focused on an area 60 nautical miles from Forester.
It was prompted after security footage from on-board the Carnival Spirit shows the couple going overboard from the mid-deck of the cruise ship at 8:50pm on Wednesday.
However, it was only realised that the couple, from NSW, were missing when the ship docked in at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Sydney early on Thursday morning.
Staff on-board searched for the missing pair before contacting police at 11.30am.
The Carnival Spirit
Officers then did a thorough search of the ship but could not locate the pair before reviewing the footage.
“That footage, whilst it isn’t 100 per cent clear, we have determined that two people have gone off the side of the ship,” Head of the Marine Area Command, Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings said. “We are currently in the middle of a marine search and rescue mission.”
Superintendent Hutchings said how the pair came to go overboard would be investigated but for now the focus was on the rescue effort.
“We are pulling out all stops to try and find the pair,” he said, adding police were hopeful the missing couple could still be found alive.”We believe they were up mid-deck, which is half way up the side of the ship which is quite away to fall.
“At the moment I’ve said to my staff it’s game on and we are going to be pulling out all stops to try to find these people at the moment.”
The ship docked at 6:30am Thursday after passing through the Pacific Islands.
It holds up to 2680 guests and 1000 crew and is too large to fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.