Cruise Passenger Who Fell Overboard Rescued in ‘Thanksgiving Miracle’

On November 24, 2022, the US Coast Guard rescued a man who fell overboard from a Carnival Valor cruise ship, with many calling the rescue a thanksgiving miracle. Let’s explore the details of the news with Ehline Law and our cruise ship personal injury attorneys.

A Cruise Ship Passenger was Rescued from the Gulf of Mexico by US Coast Guard after a Day He Went Missing

On November 23, 2022, a man fell overboard on a Carnival Valor cruise ship traveling from New Orleans to Mexico. He was at the cruise ship bar with his sister when he excused himself to the toilet and never returned.

Passenger’s Sister Alert Crew Aboard Prompting a Cruise Ship Announcement

The following day, his sister started to panic and decided to alert the crew aboard the Carnival Valor cruise ship. The crew members made several announcements for the missing man to report to the guest check-in, but there was no response.

The Cruise Ship Captain Alerts the US Coast Guard Commencing an Official Rescue Search

On November 24, 2022, at 2:30 PM, the cruise ship captain alerted the US Coast Guard about the overboard passenger. Coast Guard Watchstanders in New Orleans immediately scrambled to set off response crews in the waters, commencing a rescue search.

According to Lt Seth Gross (the USCG search and rescue coordinator), rescue efforts included boats from Venice and Florida, a helicopter, multiple airplanes set off from three cities, and help from professional maritime partners operating in the Gulf of Mexico to scan the waters for the missing cruise passenger.

Missing Passenger Found after Six Hours of Rescue Search Operation in Gulf of Mexico

The time difference between the disappearance of the passenger and the cruise ship alert made the search challenging. However, after six hours of searching and a total team effort from Coast Guard watchstanders, response crews, and the help of professional maritime partners operating in the Gulf of Mexico, the rescue team on the Crinis vessel reported that they found the missing passenger in the Gulf of Mexico.

The US Coast Guard found the missing passenger around 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana.

Rescued Passenger Displaying Symptoms of Hypothermia, Shock, and Dehydration, Moved to New Orleans Lakefront Airport

A coast guard in a helicopter hoisted the passenger out of the water, taking him to the emergency medical services at the nearby airport. The passenger was suffering from shock and dehydration while exhibiting symptoms of hypothermia.

USCG Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Calls the Rescue a Thanksgiving Miracle

Gross spoke to CNN about the incident, stating that he couldn’t believe how the passenger managed to stay afloat and alive in the cold water temperature for such an extended period, deeming it a thanksgiving miracle.

According to the US Coast Guard rescue mission coordinator, it was the longest time in the water by any passenger found in a search and rescue case.

Who Is Responsible for Overboard Incidents on Cruise Ships?

Cruise lines are responsible for ensuring that their passengers are safe on the cruise ship, including taking steps to prevent overboard incidents.

If the cruise ship is negligent and its actions or inactions result in a missing passenger, an overboard incident, or injuries to a passenger, they are liable for the damages caused.

Before the Cruise Safety Act 2010, cruise ships were not required to report overboard incidents to US Coast Guard officials.

Following the implementation of the 2010 act, cruise ships are now liable for overboard incidents under specific conditions, including:

  • Defective handrails
  • No warning of rough seas
  • Violence
  • Intoxication (overserving alcohol to passengers)
  • Search and rescue.

It is challenging for a victim of cruise ship negligence to pursue a cruise ship accident claim against the cruise line due to laws in favor of the industry and the legal team hired by the cruise company.

However, an experienced cruise ship accident attorney can help investigate the cause of the accident and increase the victim’s chances of recovering compensation for their loss.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

If you suffered injuries on a cruise ship or lost a loved one due to the cruise line’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation to learn about your rights and legal options from a talented, superior cruise ship lawyer.