P&O released a statement revealing that a crew member saw the woman fall over the side of the vessel at about 4:00 p.m. today, 300 km west of New Caledonia.
The crew member notified the navigation bridge straight away and 'man overboard' accident response was immediately activated.
In line with the response, the Pacific Dawn ship turned around to follow the course she was on at the time of accident.
New Caledonian authorities and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a call for nearby ships to assist in the search, as the accident happened in shared search and rescue area between the nations.
An AMSA spokesperson revealed search conditions were poor, with 3-to-4-meter swells and 55 kph winds.
Pacific Dawn was sailing on a 7-day Pacific islands Hopper itinerary roundtrip from homeport Brisbane last Saturday.
For other Pacific Dawn accidents and incidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.