A passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was on Thursday rescued after likely being in the water for hours, the US Coast Guard said.
The 28-year-old man was reported missing at noon while the vessel, the Carnival Valor, was heading to Cozumel, Mexico.
Carnival Cruise Line said the man was with his sister at a bar on the Carnival Valor on Wednesday at 11pm and went to use the restroom.
His sister reported him missing the next day after the man did not return to his stateroom.
The coast guard launched search-and-rescue crews on Thursday afternoon and alerted nearby ships to be watchful.
Coast Guard Lieutenant Seth Gross said a cargo ship later saw a person in the water about 32km south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana, and the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Gross said the man confirmed he was the missing cruise ship passenger after he was hoisted into a helicopter about 8:25pm.
“He appeared to be suffering from mild hypothermia, shock, dehydration, but his condition overall appeared stable,” Gross told WWL-TV, adding that the man was taken for medical care.
Gross called the rescue “a miracle especially on a holiday like Thanksgiving.”
In a statement, the cruise operator said: “We greatly appreciate the efforts of all, most especially the U.S. Coast Guard and the mariner who spotted the guest in the water.”
The man’s name has not been released.
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