Search continues for missing cruise ship passenger

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The search continued into Sunday night for a missing cruise ship passenger who went overboard in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Samantha Broberg's travel companions reported the 33-year-old missing from the Carnival Liberty cruise ship on Friday, the cruise line said. The Carnival Liberty left Galveston, Texas, on Thursday on a four-day cruise of Mexico.

Surveillance footage indicates she fell overboard from the 10th deck early Friday morning. The footage suggests she was sitting on a deck railing and fell backwards into the water, Carnival said.

The Coast Guard deployed planes from bases in Alabama and Texas to conduct air searches, covering a combined search area of more than 3,000 square miles on Saturday, the Coast Guard said. The aircraft are similar to C-130's and are equipped with video and infrared sensors to help search for people in the water.

The search resumed at first light on Sunday and continued into the evening.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told CNN Saturday that the search area's distance from shore was complicating search efforts.

"The search area is so offshore, almost 200 miles southeast of Galveston, so it's way out there and very difficult to get to and get any resources out to it," he said."Basically airplanes are the quickest and most effective way we can search right now."

Kendrick said the focus of their investigation right now is to rescue the victim, not to determine a motive for why she may have gone overboard.

CNN's Carma Hassan, Joe Sutton, Keith Allen and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.

By Andreas Preuss