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Cruise Ship Passenger's Death Ruled a Suicide

August 22, 2000|Associated Press

An Arizona woman drowned after a suicide leap into the Pacific Ocean from a cruise ship steaming off the San Diego County coast, the Orange County coroner's office said Monday.

The body of Paula Ann Gunderson, 45, of Phoenix was pulled from the sea Saturday by the crew of a state Department of Fish and Game vessel based in Dana Point, county Supervising Deputy Coroner Cullen Ellingburgh said.

"The cause of death was salt-water drowning and it is ruled a suicide," Ellingburgh said. Ellingburgh's office did the autopsy because the fish and game boat was from Orange County.

The Carnival Cruises ship Holiday, was sailing from Los Angeles to Ensenada when the "man overboard" call was issued at 11:05 p.m. Friday, said Lt. Chris Graff, of the fish and game department.

Graff said his boat and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter found lifeboats searching the waters when they arrived. The woman's body was found at 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

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