FBI, Aruba Police Probing Royal Princess Cruise Ship Death

The 52-year-old woman was reportedly involved in an altercation with another passenger prior to her death.

The FBI and authorities in Aruba are investigating whether the tragic death of an American woman on a Caribbean cruise was an accident or a crime.

The Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess cruise ship was in the Caribbean early Tuesday when the victim, a 52-year-old woman who has not been publicly identified, plunged from an upper deck onto a lifeboat below, according to authorities.

When the ship arrived at port in Aruba, local authorities launched an investigation.

Aruba news outlet Diario reported that witnesses saw the victim engaged in an altercation with another passenger prior to her death. Authorities have yet to confirm that report.

In an interview with USA Today, Aruba Public Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Ann Angela said investigators are trying to determine whether the woman’s death is an accident or a crime.

“It’s obvious that she fell, but why did she fall? Was she pushed? Did she jump?” Angela asked. “That is what we are investigating, to find out exactly what happened.”

Angela said the victim’s husband, who has not been named a suspect or person of interest in his wife’s death, is still on the island. The FBI has since joined the investigation.

“If the evidence points towards it being a crime, then, of course, we will look into [a] suspect,” Angela told USA Today.

The Aruba Public Prosecutor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.

The 3,600-passenger ship left Florida’s Port Everglades on Nov. 9 for a seven-day round-trip southern Caribbean cruise. The ship, which was traveling between the islands of Curacao and Aruba at the time of the woman’s death, is due back in Florida on Saturday, officials said.

“We are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities, including the FBI,” Princess Cruises said in a statement. “An official cause of death has not been announced.”

While authorities await autopsy results, the investigative work on board the ship appears to be complete. The cruise ship departed Aruba Wednesday for Bonaire.

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Cruise Ship Disaster