It seems that Carnival Cruises might need to raise the height of its guardrails. For the second time this year, a guest has gone overboard. The latest was a 28-year-old man who went missing over Thanksgiving weekend. He was found alive 15 hours later.
Passenger Disappeared From Carnival Cruise Ship the Night Before Thanksgiving
The man, whose identity has not been made public, was last seen shortly before midnight on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. He was drinking at the Valor’s bar on the Carnival cruise ship with his sister. The sister said that after he left to use the restroom around 11 pm, he never came back. At noon the next day, she reported her brother as missing.
The Coast Guard then deployed helicopters, a boat, and airplanes to search a 200-mile area where they thought the man may have gone missing. They also sent out an emergency alert to all marine vessels in the area to stay on the lookout for the missing man.
The Carnival cruise ship had left from New Orleans and was headed for Cozumel, Mexico. At about halfway through the journey to Cozumel, the ship turned around to join in the search. Luckily, a CRINIS carrier vessel spotted a man at sea, and he was picked up by the Coast Guard in an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter shortly after. He was found about 20 miles south of the Southwest Pass of Louisiana. The Carnival ship turned around again and continued its journey.
“Thanksgiving Miracle” That the Man Didn’t Die After Falling Overboard, Left in Cold Water
The man was transferred to a hospital in Louisiana and has been reported to be in stable condition. Considering the temperature of the Gulf of Mexico is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a miracle that he’s okay. Authorities estimate that he could have been in the water for 15 hours. Death can occur in as little as 2 hours in 60–70-degree water.
The search and rescue coordinator for the USCG Lt. Seth Gross told CNN that the man was giving signs of hypothermia but was responsive.
“He was able to identify his name, confirmed that he was the individual that fell overboard,” Gross said. He added that the man “was showing signs of hypothermia, shock, dehydration” but could still speak and walk. They also struggled to figure out how long the man had been in the water.
“The fact that he was able to keep himself afloat and above the surface of the water for such an extended period of time, it’s just something you can’t take for granted and certainly something that’ll stick with me forever,” Gross said.
He also told CNN that, if the man had been in the water for 15 hours, it was a miracle he survived. Gross said that timeframe was “the absolute longest that I’ve heard about — and just one of those Thanksgiving miracles.”
This past February, a woman jumped off a Carnival cruise ship after being subdued by security. Passengers claimed to see the woman jump off a balcony and hit the ship on her way down. They thought they could see blood. Her body was never recovered.