By Eric M. Johnson
(Reuters) - An American woman in her 50s on a Hawaii-bound cruise ship leaped overboard on Wednesday afternoon in a bid to kill herself and is presumed dead, a spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said.
A passenger and a security camera saw the woman jump off the 1,300-cabin Grand Princess ship into the Pacific Ocean about 650 miles northeast of Hilo, Hawaii, at about 2 p.m. PST, Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson said.
"This is very sad," Benson said. "This was not an accident. It was apparent that she went overboard intentionally."
The ship was bound for Hawaii on the third day of a 15-day trip that started in San Francisco, California, Benson said.
Benson said the crew turned the ship around and began searching for the woman when they were notified by a passenger. The search was continuing Wednesday evening, she said.
Benson said the woman's name was being withheld pending notification of her family. She declined to provide more information on why she believes the woman jumped intentionally.
The cruise line notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard sent a C-130 airplane to assist in the search.
Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Corp & Plc, one of the largest vacation companies in the world, according to its website.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by David Bailey and Lisa Shumaker)