CHARLESTON, SC (WNCN) — The Coast Guard suspended search efforts on Saturday for a missing South Carolina mom who went overboard from a cruise ship near Cuba on Thursday evening.
Kaylyn Rose Sommer, a 24-year-old mother of a young daughter, disappeared while the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl was 22 nautical miles off the coast of Cuba, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The search was suspended at 11 a.m. Saturday after Coast Guard crews covered 1,378 square nautical miles looking for Sommer, who was born and raised in Charleston, SC.
Sommer married her husband on the same cruise last year, which this year was an electronic dance music event during a four-day music festival called “Mad Decent Boat Party,” NBC Miami reported.
The event this year was advertised as an “insane” event with performers including Diplo and Skrillex, sailing from Miami to Cozumel from Wednesday to Sunday, WCBD reported.
Officials said Sommers was observed “ intentionally going overboard while the ship was sailing the Yucatan Channel.”
The Coast Guard says a friend of Sommer told them that she was involved in a “twerk-off” which led to her jumping off the ship, WCBD reported.
The cruise line said in a statement that the woman intentionally jumped overboard into the Yucatan Channel, NBC News said.
“Both the ship and charter company teams are providing support to the family and all impacted guests during this difficult time” Norwegian Cruise Lines said, according to NBC.
Coast Guard officials said the planned cruise has been halted as the ongoing search for the missing passenger continues.
“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones affected by this terrible tragedy,” said Capt. Todd Coggeshall, Incident Management Chief at the Coast Guard’s Seventh District.
“We are all sons and daughters, and many of our responders have young children themselves. Suspending search efforts is always a painful decision, particularly when it involves a young mother.”
Crews at the Coast Guard Seventh District Command Center received the initial report at approximately 7 p.m. Thursday from crew of the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl reporting that a woman had gone overboard.
It is believed the woman went overboard from a height of more than 80 feet above the water, while the cruise ship was underway.
The Coast Guard Cutter Alligator, aircrews aboard an HC-130 from Air Station Clearwater and an HC-144 from Air Station Miami, and a Cuban Border Guard surface asset participated in search efforts.