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FBI investigating ‘suspicious death’ of Carnival Cruise passenger during trip to Bahamas

Carnival Cruise Line Sunshine Ship (YouTube screenshot)

Carnival Cruise Line Sunshine Ship (YouTube screenshot)

Federal agents are investigating the “suspicious death” of a female passenger on board a Carnival Cruise Line ship that left South Carolina for the Bahamas late last month.

According to a press release from the FBI’s Columbia field office, the female passenger was aboard the Carnival Sunshine ship that left from a port in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 27 and sailed to Nassau, Bahamas. The agency did not release the woman’s name.

Authorities said that the ship’s crew members and medical staff responded to a report of a passenger being unresponsive by immediately attempting to perform life-saving measures. However, despite their efforts, the woman was pronounced dead while the ship was still at sea.

Agents with the FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) met the ship at the Charleston port when it returned home on Saturday to search the female passenger’s cabin. The agency is charged with investigating “certain crimes on the high seas, as well as suspicious deaths of U.S. persons,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist with the Columbia Field Office Kevin Wheeler wrote in the release.

The agency did not provide any additional details regarding the circumstances of the woman’s death, but said it was an isolated incident and that “there was no threat to any other passengers before or after the passenger was found deceased.”

According to a report from the Post and Courier, the female passenger was traveling aboard the Carnival Sunshine with her husband, both of whom disembarked in Nassau. In addition to the federal probe, Bahamian law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the circumstances of her death and will be conducting an autopsy in the near future, the report states.

“We are fully cooperating. This is a matter for authorities in the Bahamas and Charleston and we have no further comments,” Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson Matt Lupoli said in a statement emailed to CNN.

Carnival Cruise Line did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment from Law&Crime.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.