Missing cruise passenger's family wants search resumed

The family of a B.C. woman who went missing from a cruise ship off Florida say they want the U.S. Coast Guard to resume the search for her.

Fariba Amani, 47, of Port Moody, B.C., apparently disappeared from the Bahamas Celebration cruise ship on Feb. 29 while the vessel was sailing to Palm Beach, Fla., from Freeport on Grand Bahama Island.

Amani's sister says the missing woman was a strong swimmer and experienced scuba diver who could have survived at sea for days, but the coast guard called off its search for her after 1½ days.

"I think the coast guard should continue looking, that it’s possible from what I've read that a body might not turn up right away," said Sally Amani.

The woman was reported missing by her boyfriend, Ramiz Golshani, just before the ship docked at 8 a.m. ET Feb. 29.

Golshani said he last saw Amani near the ship's duty-free shop at about 1 a.m. He said he then proceeded to their cabin and went to bed and didn’t notice her missing until he awoke hours later, when he notified the ship's crew.

The FBI was called in and interviewed Golshani but did not detain him. Goshani has not been charged with anything and he has since returned to his home in Port Moody, a suburb of Vancouver.

Amani's family say she was a non-drinker and it would have been virtually impossible for her to fall overboard.

"It can't be an accident. If you look at pictures of the cruise boat, they have a railing that's waist high, almost shoulder height,” said Sally Amani “No one could just simply lean over and fall."

The family is also angry that the cruise ship didn't have more surveillance cameras on deck.

"It’s incredible to me that they don't have cameras. This could have been solved so quickly if they had cameras on the perimeters," Amani said.

The Celebration Cruise Line, which owns the Bahamas Celebration, told CBC News Tuesday that the ship does have some cameras installed.

"There is surveillance video on board. The cameras are in a few select places. We have turned over what we have to the FBI," the statement said.

The police force in Amani’s hometown confirms its now involved.

"The Port Moody Police Department is currently assisting the FBI in their missing person investigation," said Const. Luke van Winkel.

Golshani told CBC News Monday that he told the FBI everything he knows.

"The FBI has all sides of my story. If I had any per cent of a guilt, I would not be out," he said.

Golshani declined further comment Tuesday, other than to say, “I'm mentally, I'm not quite at the right place to speak."

Sally Amani said her sister's relationship with Golshani was troubled and that she had planned to break up with him after the cruise.

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