Search and rescue vessels in the area. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

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Maritime Rescue is continuing the search for the middle-aged woman who disappeared after falling overboard into the sea in the early hours of Sunday morning from a cruise ship, 75 miles off Mallorca.

According to the chief spokesman for Maritime Rescue in Palma, Miguel Chicón, while the search continues, emergency alerts have been issued to all vessels sailing in the Mediterranean, so that, in the event of any new information, air sea rescue can respond immediately.

He also revealed that on Sunday afternoon the flotation rings launched by the crew of the Azamara Quest cruise ship, on which the missing woman was travelling, were located, but, unfortunately, there was no trace of her.

He warned that “the hours have passed, the temperature of the water would have dropped over night and the fact that the missing woman fell into the sea without flotation devices, reduces the hopes of finding her and finding her alive”.

The cruise ship Azamara Quest contacted the Maritime Rescue centre in Palma on Sunday at around 02.00 hours to report that a middle-aged woman had fallen into the water 75 miles off Mallorca.

Following the alert, Maritime Rescue dispatched two search and rescue helicopters to the scene and they combed the area all night.

A maritime rescue vessel was also deployed to the area from Palma and remained at the scene this morning as the search continues.

The ship had reportedly just set off on the first day of an eight-day adults-only cruise around Spain, with a stop in Casablanca in Morocco.

On Sunday evening, the vessel was reported to be off the Spanish port city of Cartagena on its way to Malaga, where it is due to dock earlier this morning.