Canadian police are searching for a 71-year-old Baton Rouge woman who was reported missing after she disappeared from a cruise ship traveling from Montreal to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Sarah Tessier Powell was last seen Sept. 30 on board the Holland America cruise ship, the Veendam, Halifax Regional Police spokesman Constable Pierre Bourdages said.
Powell, who was traveling alone, was reported missing Oct. 4 by the cruise line when it reached its final destination in Halifax, Bourdages said.
There is no evidence that there was foul play and investigators believe Powell might have walked off the ship without being checked by security, Bourdages said. It’s unknown where Powell might have disembarked. The ship stopped at Quebec City on Sept. 30; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Oct. 2; Sydney, Nova Scotia on Oct. 3; and Halifax on Oct. 4.
“There’s nothing that shows she jumped,” Bourdages said. “There were items in her room that were missing that indicates she left and wasn’t coming back.”
Bourdages said there is concern about Powell’s well-being because she is on medication and becomes agitated and disoriented without it.
Bourdages would not specify what type of medication Powell is on or why she is taking it. He also would not say what items were missing from Powell’s room on the ship and what items were left there.
Erik Elvejord, a spokesman for Holland America, said in a prepared statement that the Veendam stopped at Quebec City, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Sydney before arriving in Halifax.
A ship-wide search was conducted for Powell after it was discovered she was missing, Elvejord said in the statement.
“Per marine regulation and protocol, Transport Canada/Canadian Coast Guard (TC/CGG), United States Coast Guard, FBI, RCMP and local law enforcement authorities were contacted with all known information,” he said. “An investigation is ongoing.”
In an email, Elvejord said protocol for passengers disembarking is that they check on and off the ship using an electronic key card.
Powell’s ex-husband, William Powell, said during a phone interview from his St. Gabriel home that his ex-wife is a “world traveler” and that she “loves to travel on boats.”
Powell said his ex-wife has taken several cruises during the past two or three years and that while she sometimes goes with a group, she “is not afraid to go alone.”
Powell described his ex-wife as intelligent and capable and said he is surprised that she is missing.
Powell said he is confident in the abilities of the Canadian authorities who are looking for his ex-wife and that “the minute they find her, we will go get her.”
Messages left with the two adult children of William and Sarah Powell were not returned.