On November 24, 2022, US Coast Guard officials in New Orleans saved a passenger who fell overboard a cruise ship.
The incident took place on a cruise from New Orleans called the Carnival Valor. Officials have referred to the incident as a “Thanksgiving miracle.” The 28-year-old man was reportedly floating in the Gulf of Mexico for almost a day.
The man is reported to be fit and stable on Friday. A response boat and a fixed-wing airplane were also deployed to search for the man who was reported missing at noon on November 25, 2022. Helicopters from New Orleans were also called to look for the missing man.
Video footage showing the man's rescue has also been posted on Twitter.
A man reported missing in New Orleans-Cozumel cruise ship
It is reported that the rescued man and his sister got onto the Carnival Cruise to spend Thanksgiving and enjoy the holiday. While authorities stated the man's age, they haven't disclosed either of their identities.
Soon after getting on the cruise, they headed to a bar and the man likely stepped away and went to the washroom at one point. According to the man's sister, the time her brother possibly left was around 11 pm local time. The same was also communicated to CNN by Matt Lupoli, the Carnival spokesperson.
The sister reported him missing on Thursday, November 25, 2022, according to officials. As soon as the cruise authorities found out about the situation, they made announcements about the missing man. This was corroborated by Mike Anderson, who was also a passenger on the cruise.
Anderson told CNN that people noticed security beginning to search the boat with a photo of the missing person on their phones. He also mentioned that the cruise authorities announced that their arrival at their destination in Cozumel, Mexico, would be delayed.
Explaining the situation, spokesperson Lupoli said that the cruise that left New Orleans had retraced its route to "support the search and rescue."
The Coast Guard were also intimated about the incident at about 2:30 pm, and soon after that, a full-fledged search by sea and air began. After searching for more than 200 miles in the Gulf, at about 8:25 pm a mariner found the man in the water. The man was rescued by a helicopter.
USCG stated that aircrew from the coast guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter flew into the area and "hoisted the man" in the helicopter. The man was then transferred into awaiting emergency medical services at the New Orleans Lakefront airport.
The 28-year-old male spent more than 15 hours in the water, medical professionals reported him to be stable
Officials spotted the man in the water about 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana. According to Lt. Seth Gross, a USCG search and rescue coordinator, the man was able to identify his name and confirm that he was the man who fell overboard. While the man did show signs of hypothermia, shock and dehydration, Gross noted that he could walk and communicate.
He also mentioned that the rescued man had spent more than 15 hours in the water. Gross added:
“The will to live is something you have to account for in every search and rescue case. If it was that long, it's the absolute longest that I've heard about- and just one of those Thanksgiving miracles.”
The 28-year-old was taken to New Orleans Lakefront Airport to get checked by emergency medical officials. He then got checked out at a hospital and was reportedly stable.
An email statement to Fox Business Digital by Carnival Valor said that they appreciate the efforts of everyone, especially the US Coast Guard and the mariner who found the man in the water.