Video: The Coast Guard’s rescue of a cruise passenger who had been overboard for up to 15 hours has been hailed as the ‘Thanksgiving Miracle’

A man recently fell overboard on a carnival cruise and managed to survive in open water for up to 15 hours. The US Coast Guard rescued the cruise passenger in what is being hailed as the “Thanksgiving Miracle.”

An unidentified 28-year-old man was a cruise passenger on the ship Carnival Valor on a voyage from New Orleans, Louisiana to Cozumel, Mexico.

Carnival Cruise Line said The man was at a bar on the cruise ship until around 11pm on Wednesday when he left to use the bathroom. He never returned. His sister assumed he was going back to his room. She reported him missing the next day.

The cruise ship was thoroughly searched for the man, but he was nowhere to be found. The crew of the Carnival Valor notified the Coast Guard of the missing man around 2:30 p.m

The Coast Guard dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, 45-foot strike boat and HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft to attempt to locate the man. The search extended more than 200 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard received a tip from a large transport vessel that a person was in the water about 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana.

At 8:25 p.m. Thursday, the Jayhawk flight crew spotted the man in the water. The video shows the man waving his arms to get her attention. Coast Guard crew were able to rescue the man – who was responsive.

Lt. Seth Gross — a coordinator for the New Orleans Sector Search and Rescue Mission — said the man “showed signs of hypothermia, shock, dehydration,” but was able to walk and communicate.

Told big CNN“He was able to identify his name, confirmed he was the person who went overboard.”

The helicopter took him to the emergency services at New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The man was last reported in stable condition.

“We are extremely grateful that this case ended with a positive outcome,” said Rough. “It took the entire team effort of Coast Guard Sentinels, response teams and our professional maritime partners operating in the Gulf of Mexico to locate the missing person and bring them to safety. If it weren’t for the vigilant crew on board the motor vessel CRINIS, then this case could have ended in a much more difficult manner.”

Gross said the man “didn’t really give any clear details as to why he went overboard or exactly when.”

“We haven’t been able to confirm when he entered the water, so we’re assuming that’s the case [that] From Wednesday he could have entered the waterway at any time,” said Gross explained. “He could realistically have been in the water for more than 15 hours before we were able to successfully rescue him.”

Gross noted that 15 hours in open water was the “absolutely longest” he had ever heard of in his 17-year career and that it was a “Thanksgiving miracle” that the overboard cruise passenger survived.

“The fact that he was able to stay afloat and above the surface for so long is not something that should be taken for granted and will certainly stay with me forever,” said Gross

“I think it kind of breaks the norm here, normalcy, and really just goes to show that the will to live is something that you have to consider in any search and rescue situation,” Gross said.

Coast Guard footage shows the rescue of a passenger on a Carnival cruise ship who had fallen overboard Video: The Coast Guard’s rescue of a cruise passenger who had been overboard for up to 15 hours has been hailed as the ‘Thanksgiving Miracle’

Laura Coffey

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