Advertisement

technologyTechnology

Man Found Alive More Than 15 Hours After Falling From A Cruise Ship

Incredible footage shows how the passenger was found and rescued in the Gulf of Mexico.

author

Rachael Funnell

author

Rachael Funnell

Digital Content Producer

Rachael is a writer and digital content producer at IFLScience with a Zoology degree from the University of Southampton, UK, and a nose for novelty animal stories.

Digital Content Producer

clockNov 30 2022, 13:04 UTC
share2.5kShares
cruise ship fall

"[It's] the absolute longest that I've heard about – and just one of those Thanksgiving miracles,” Lt. Seth Gross. Image credit: Coast Guard, Public Domain

Falling from a cruise ship is something you might expect to be a fatal accident, and it seems even less likely that you could then survive being lost at sea overnight. In what’s being reported as a “Thanksgiving miracle”, a man cruising in the Gulf of Mexico has done just that as he was pulled from the water alive despite rescuers estimating that he was lost at sea for over 15 hours.

The passenger had been having drinks onboard the Carnival Valor when the accident happened, Sky News reported. After not coming back from the bathroom and failing to return to his cabin overnight, the passenger’s sister raised the alarm and an enormous search mission was launched.

Advertisement

The Coast guard dispatched boats and an Ocean Sentry surveillance plane to go in search of the 28-year-old man. They were able to narrow down the search after a nearby carrier called Crinis reported seeing a person in the water.

Incredible footage shows how cameras could detect the man in the water, and a Jayhawk helicopter crew was able to successfully retrieve him. Though it’s not known exactly how long the man was in the water, it’s reported to have been around 32 hours from when he was first noticed to be missing to when he was pulled from the ocean. Rescuers estimate he could have spent more than 15 hours in the water.

Following the rescue, the passenger was taken to the New Orleans Lakefront Airport to receive medical treatment. Though he showed signs of hypothermia and dehydration, said The Guardian, he’s reported to have been stable despite the harrowing ordeal.

“We are beyond grateful that this case ended with a positive outcome," said Lt. Seth Gross, a Sector New Orleans search and rescue mission coordinator, in a statement.

Advertisement

"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.”

Your chances of surviving falling from a cruise ship are slim, but evidently not none. Depending on the height you fall from, and the choppiness of the sea, landing in water can be similarly traumatic to falling on solid ground. Then there's the strong possibility of hitting something on the way down.

Water temperature also plays a big role. Cold water shock is a physiological response to sudden exposure to cold water that causes blood vessels to constrict and can increase your heart rate, sometimes causing heart attacks even in young and otherwise healthy people.

"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 told CNN. It’s “the absolute longest that I've heard about – and just one of those Thanksgiving miracles,” he said.


technologyTechnology
  • tag
  • transport,

  • weird and wonderful