Woman Plunges to Her Death Off Cruise Ship, Police Say 'No Reason to Believe' Criminal Activity Involved

A woman has died after falling from a cruise ship in Norway as the vessel prepared to dock in the picturesque town of Alesund.

The unnamed woman, who Forbes reported was Norwegian and in her 40s, fell from the MS Finnmarken ship at around 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening. A rescue operation was ordered but stormy weather and the failing light made her recovery difficult.

A helicopter, six vessels and specialist divers were rushed to the scene. Authorities found the woman in the water around an hour after she fell.

She was rushed to hospital in what was described as an "extremely serious" condition. Her injuries were so severe that she was then flown to the larger St. Olav's Hospital in Trondheim, almost 150 miles away. However, the woman died on Thursday afternoon.

Police have said there is "no reason to believe" there was any foul play involved in the woman's death. Nonetheless, police held the ship—operated by the Hurtigruten company—in Alesund while they conducted an investigation. The ship has since been released.

Local police said they were still worked to "clarify the circumstances" around the incident. Police spokesperson Charlotte Amalie Vaksdal told the Sunnmørsposten newspaper that officers had interviewed multiple witnesses.

"The woman was a passenger on the Hurtigruten [vessel], she is Norwegian and her relatives have been notified," Vaksdal explained. "We are continuing to investigate the case and will now work on mapping the course of events."

The MS Finnmarken was built in 2002 and has a capacity of 919 passengers, with 617 beds on board. The 454-foot vessel is due to undergo major refurbishment next year, with Hurtigruten noting the project is "the biggest single upgrade" in the company's history.

According to National Geographic, as of mid-2018, more than 300 people had fallen overboard from cruise ships since 2000. Such incidents remain relatively rare considering some 20 million people embark on cruise ship vacations every year.

In June, a woman fell from a cruise ship which was on its way to Norway, and also died in hospital despite being rescued by a helicopter.

The woman, also in her 40s, was a passenger aboard the MSC Meraviglia. Six ships and a helicopter were involved in the search for the woman, who was eventually take for treatment at a Danish hospital.

The passenger suffered serious injuries from the fall and the cold water. German tabloid newspaper Bild said the water was colder than 54 degrees when she fell from the ship.

cruise ship, norway, woman, fell, Hurtigruten
This file photo shows Hurtigruten cruise ship MS Nord-Norge approaches the city of Honningsvag, Norway, on June 22, 2011. HEIKO JUNGE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty