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Curacao Ends Search for Va. Tourist

March 27, 1998

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao (AP) _ The Netherlands Antilles coast guard has called off its search for a Virginia woman missing from a cruise ship, but the cruise line agreed Friday to hire a boat to keep looking.

Amy L. Bradley, 23, of Chesterfield County, Va., was last seen early Tuesday sleeping on the balcony of her family’s cabin. She was reported missing at 7 a.m., when the ship was 10 miles south of this Dutch colony.

The coast guard’s aerial search of the Caribbean Sea near Curacao, which is 40 miles north of Venezuela, was suspended at dusk Thursday. It did not resume Friday morning, the coast guard said, because ocean searches usually are not extended beyond two or three days.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines chartered a boat to continue searching at least one more day, spokesman Rich Steck said. Boats in the area also have been alerted about the missing woman.

Lt. Sjoerd Soethout of the Netherlands Antilles Coast Guard said Bradley may have fallen from the balcony of the eighth-deck cabin she shared with her parents and brother. But John Noblin, Bradley’s uncle, said the family doubts she fell overboard.

FBI agents were interviewing the crew and passengers to determine whether a crime was involved, said FBI spokeswoman Sara Lema in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The FBI has jurisdiction in the case because the ship operates from U.S. territory, Lema said.

The Rhapsody of the Seas, which is carrying about 2,000 passengers, was to end its one-week cruise Saturday. Its weekly voyages begin and end in San Juan.

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