PORT EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN/CNN) – Authorities are reportedly investigating the death of a woman who fell from a railing while on board a cruise ship headed to Aruba as a possible murder.
The Princess Cruises vessel where Tuesday morning’s incident took place returned to Port Everglades, its point of departure, Saturday morning.
In a statement released by the cruise line, officials said, “A 52-year-old, American, female guest passed away early Tuesday morning aboard Royal Princess as the ship was en route to Aruba. The incident was reported to the FBI and local authorities, and the local authorities met and boarded the ship upon arrival in Aruba.”
News outlets in Aruba said authorities are investigating the incident as a possible murder.
“We heard after breakfast time that there had been a murder,” said passenger Tricia Schena.
The victim reportedly fell from the 16th floor onto a lifeboat in the late night hours.
Passengers shared pictures of the scene, including what appears to be a blood-stained lifeboat and shards of broken glass.
Schena said she heard a loud noise in the early hours.
“I heard a thump. I thought it was in the middle of night; it was early morning,” she said, “and next thing I know, I heard over the loudspeaker, ‘All security to Deck 7.’”
Local news in Aruba said the woman was seen struggling with a muscular man before being thrown off the 16th-floor railing. The news outlets went on to report that the woman’s husband was hauled off by Aruba police when the ship docked there, but he is not considered a suspect at this time.
News of the woman’s death made its way around the eight-day cruise.
“They said that the husband had been cleared, and that it was someone — I don’t know if he knew her or not,” said passenger Stu Klotzo.
In their statement, Princess Cruises officials went on to say, “We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our sincere condolences to the family and those affected.”
Meanwhile, tourists who were on the cruise have been left unsettled by this tragedy shrouded in mystery.
“Just a lot of unanswered questions,” said passenger Bill Kinsley.
“It was shocking and scary, too, that someone — that it was real, that it was real,” said Schena.
Police in Aruba are reportedly looking at surveillance video, adding that an autopsy will be looking into choking or trauma. Authorities have not yet released an official cause of death.