Australian Cruise Passenger Lost Overboard In Pacific Ocean

A frantic search is underway for an Australian cruise passenger who went overboard as the ship sailed around New Zealand's North Island.

It's understood the 62-year-old man went overboard from the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship about 7pm on Sunday.

The incident happened off Mahia, south of Gisborne in the country's Hawkes Bay region.

It's understood the ship had departed Sydney eight days ago for a 12-day journey around New Zealand. It's reported there were about 2000 people on board at the time as the cruise travelled between Napier and Tauranga.

Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed the passenger was an Australian man.

A spokesperson for NCL told 10 daily the incident was confirmed by witness statements and the ship's CCTV.

“The authorities were notified and a search and rescue operation ensued immediately. Unfortunately, the guest has not been found. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family during this difficult time.”

Maritime New Zealand said search attempts for the missing man had failed so far.

The search has involved the cruise ship, three helicopters and two other ships. It resumed on Monday morning after being called off on Sunday.

A spokesperson for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told 10 daily it was ready to provide consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to the family of an Australian man missing from a cruise liner in New Zealand waters.

Instead of arriving at Tauranga, the cruise is expected to dock at Auckland where it will be met by law enforcement.

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