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The story behind Natasha Schofield, the woman who went overboard on a cruise ship.

On Saturday the 7th of April, Natasha Schofield boarded the P&O Pacific Dawn cruise liner with her husband and three children.

They left from Brisbane, looking forward to a seven-day round trip to Vanuatu, along with 1500 or so other passengers.

But by the time the ship would dock, early on Sunday morning, Natasha Schofield would be gone.

On Thursday, five days into their trip, it is believed Natasha and her husband ate a meal together.

At approximately 4pm, they retreated to the upper deck, and security cameras are said to capture a “loving, happy couple”, speaking by the railing. It is understood that their three children, two girls and one boy, were not in the vicinity.

Moments later, Natasha took two steps backwards and “propelled herself overboard,” plunging 40 metres into the ocean, four times the height of a professional diving board.

As she fell, Mr Schofield desperately tried to grasp at her legs, but it was no use.

Laurie Lawrence shares water safety tips. Post continues.

At first, reports surfaced of a woman throwing up over the railing as a result of seasickness, and then being thrown overboard when a sizeable wave hit the ship.

But this account would prove to be incorrect.

After Natasha went overboard, 150 nautical miles west of New Caledonia, Mr Schofield immediately alerted security, who turned the ship around.

The 250 metre-long vessel circled particularly rough seas for hours searching for the Brisbane woman.

By 7:45am on Friday, the search had been officially called off, and the ship headed back for Queensland.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I need to let you know that we have been unable to locate our guest,” the captain announced.

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“We are still in the area of the incident, and the weather conditions with the swell three to four metres high, as you can see outside… the strong wind made our search extremely challenging.”

According to a P&O spokesperson, experts had told them, “survival after this length of time in difficult sea conditions and after a full night at sea was not considered possible.”

As passengers disembarked from the Pacific Dawn cruise liner on Sunday morning, police inspector Rob Graham confirmed the nature of Natasha’s death.

“This wasn’t an accident,” he said.

“Let’s be open and honest about mental health… Her husband was standing right next to her when she went over.”

A friend of the family, Damon Smith, reportedly posted to Facebook, “Tash would never intentionally hurt her husband or children, her family or friends.

“Everything that has happened on that boat is the complete opposite to what she would ever want — so I say she must have arrived in a very dark and desperate place in her mind very very quickly.”

According to Smith, Mr Schofield said Natasha’s behaviour only changed in the last 24 hours of her life, and when he asked if “she was okay,” Natasha assured him she was fine.

“What if someone says they are okay but they’re not — how can we change that part?” Smith asked.

The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that weeks before boarding the cruise, Natasha left a five-star review on a hypnotherapist’s page writing, “Your sessions and audio recording have been life-changing for me. I am calmer, I have clarity in my thoughts and I am finding mindfulness so easy now.”

It is not known if Natasha was seeking help for any mental health issues prior to her death.

A coronial investigation is now underway.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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