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Thanksgiving miracle as man rescued 32 hours after cruise ship fall

After more than 24 hours of being stranded on the Gulf of Mexico, a man fell from a cruise vessel.

Carnival Valor’s passenger went missing on Wednesday at 2.30pm, local time. He was not rescued from the water until Thursday night in a Thanksgiving holiday miracle.

A US Coast Guard helicopter found him about 20 miles from Southwest Pass, Louisiana. He was in stable condition despite his ordeal.

A spokesperson for the cruise operator Matt Lupoli said that the 28-year old man disappeared while taking a bathroom break after he was at a bar with his sister.


Crew were alerted to his absence by her when he didn’t return to his bedroom overnight.

The Jayhawk helicopter crew saved him around 8.30pm. The Coast Guard dispatched boats as well as an additional air team to assist on board the Ocean Sentry surveillance aircraft.

After Crinis’ crew spotted the man, they responded.

More information from the USA

“Unlike anything I’ve ever been part of”

Lieutenant Seth Gross, search and rescue mission coordinator, stated that his team was grateful for the positive outcome of this case.

He said, “It required a total team effort by Coast Guard watchstanders and response crews and our professional maritime partners working in the Gulf of Mexico, to locate the missing individual to get him to safety.”

“This case could have ended much differently if it weren’t for the alert crew on the motor vessel Crinis.”

CNN was told by Lt Gross that the rescue mission which saw an alert sent out to all Mariners in the Gulf of Mexico and spanning 200 miles was “unlike any I’ve ever been part of”.

He said, “It kind of blows out the norm, or the normalcy, here and really just shows that the will to survive is something you have to account for in any search-and-rescue situation.”

Image: This man was lifted out of the water at night. Photo: US Coast Guard

CBS News reports that the man was conscious but had hypothermic-like symptoms when he was found. He received emergency medical care at New Orleans Lakefront Airport.

He did not give any indications as to why or when he fell overboard.

His family remains aboard the cruise ship bound for Cozumel, Mexico.


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