One 28-year-old man experienced a miracle as he was rescued from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of falling overboard from a cruise ship and spending multiple hours stuck in the water.
The still currently unidentified man was finally rescued by members of the Coast Guard this past Thanksgiving day, a few hours after being officially reported missing. The man had apparently fallen overboard from the Carnival Valor, a cruise ship that was making its way to Mexico and owned by the Carnival Cruise Line.
USCG Lt. Seth Gross labeled the rescue as an outright “miracle” while speaking to WWL-TV in an interview later that day.
“I will say one of the highlights of my Coast Guard career was calling the family who was onboard the Carnival Valor to let them know their son was alive and en route to additional medical care,” explained Gross. “Truly just a miracle especially on a holiday like Thanksgiving where it’s predominantly around family and spending time together.”
Gross went on to explain that the man who had been rescued was reportedly in stable condition but seemed to have a mild case of hypothermia, dehydration, and shock.
The ship had been in the middle of a five-day voyage that started back in New Orleans and was slated to make stops in both Progreso and Cozumel while in Mexico. The man was reported missing by his sister after he did not make his way back to his room after leaving for a trip to the bathroom at roughly 11 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Rescue crews were forced to search and watch over a search area about the size of the state of Massachusetts due to the ship having traveled over 200 miles since the last time the man had been seen.
In the wake of being seen floating in the water by a cargo ship, the crew of a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk was able to rescue the man from the ocean waters and rushed him to a New Orleans-based emergency medical care unit. The man was pulled out of the water at roughly 8:25 p.m. local time thanksgiving day after a multiple-hour stint in the water.
“We are beyond grateful that this case ended with a positive outcome,” stated Gross. “It took a total team effort from Coast Guard watchstanders, response crews, and our professional maritime partners operating in the Gulf of Mexico to locate the missing individual and get him to safety. If not for the alert crew aboard the motor vessel Crinis, this case could have had a much more difficult ending.”
Footage of the rescue has been posted by the Coast Guard Heartland:
— USCG Heartland (@USCGHeartland) November 25, 2022