Police have revealed the tragic circumstances which surround the death of a Brisbane woman who went overboard on the cruise ship, Pacific Dawn.
It’s been confirmed the woman jumped overboard in an intentional act, which caused the cruise ship to circle for some time in an attempt to find her.
Now, officers are investigating the disappearance of the woman, mother-of-three Natasha Schofield, 47, after the ship reached the dock in Brisbane this morning, (April 16), according to 9 News.
Queensland Police Inspector Rob Graham said the incident was definitely a deliberate act, saying:
This wasn’t an accident. Let’s be open and honest about mental health. It’s a tragic end to what should’ve been a lifetime holiday experience for a loving family.
What you’ve got is a loving husband who was there when his wife departed. Her husband was standing right next to her when she went over. Her husband tried to grab on to her… her legs.
It’s currently believed the children didn’t see the incident as they weren’t in the area of the ship where she died.
Inspector Graham continued:
We can only hope they didn’t see. We were just lucky that there’s not two people missing.
Mrs Schofield’s body is yet to be found. She’s reportedly presumed dead after the police reviewed CCTV footage, as well as witness testimony, which led them to the conclusion her actions were deliberate.
The CCTV reportedly shows Mrs Schofield and her husband walking along the deck of the ship after having dinner before she went overboard, according to Inspector Graham.
They were walking along… stopped for a while, leaning over and then the intentional act took place.
Every one of these passengers [are] affected in some way.
Witnesses had apparently said the woman was watching activities take place onboard the ship before she started leaning over the edge – with some thinking she was vomiting.
After she went overboard, her husband collapsed in shock, according to these witnesses.
The cruise operator, Carnival Australia, said it was co-operating fully with the police investigation:
We will be able to give police CCTV footage providing an unobstructed view of what happened and portraying an obviously devoted and loving couple.
We extend our deepest condolences to the family and hope that they will find comfort in their grief.
The ship began their search for the woman when she went missing around 150 nautical miles from New Caledonia, on Thursday, (April 12).
The search lasted almost 16 hours before it was called off at 7.30am on the Friday and the trajectory to Brisbane was established.
The search was abandoned because at this stage, survival ‘after this length of time in difficult sea conditions and after a full night at sea was not considered possible’.
Our thoughts are with Mrs Schofield’s friends and family during this difficult time.