One man’s Carnival cruise ship story has amazed many during this Thanksgiving period. The passenger fell overboard and was rescued hours later in miraculous circumstances. The man fell overboard and was eventually saved in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

CNN reports that the story begins on Thanksgiving Eve, when the Carnival Valor set sail from New Orleans. It was the brother-sister duo onboard who had their holiday disrupted by the mysterious event. 

At one point the brother went off to use the restroom and never returned. According to reports, the 28-year-old vanished completely beyond crew members understanding.  

The sister reported that the brother went off at around 11pm and didn’t return. Despite several announcements made onboard, the brother was nowhere to be found. On Thanksgiving day, around 2:30pm the man was reported missing. 

A Thanksgiving miracle on a Carnival cruise ship:

What exactly happened:

“Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a call from the Carnival Valor at approximately 2.30 pm Thursday, reporting a passenger aboard the cruise ship was missing. Watchstanders then coordinated the launch of several rescue crews to begin searching,” stated a coast guard. 

The rescue team included a boat from Venice, Florida, a New Orleans-based helicopter, as well as airplanes from Clearwater, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama.

A 200-plus-mile search began but was made complicated by the time difference between when the passenger was last seen and when the Coast Guard was alerted. In The Guardian’s report it states that six hours after, a man was reportedly found in the water. It was confirmed to be the missing passenger. 

The rescue:

Lt Seth Gross, a USCG search and rescue coordinator told CNN that the man was rescued and promptly transferred to an awaiting medical service at the New Orleans Lakefront airport. 

“He was able to identify his name, confirmed that he was the individual that fell overboard,” Gross told CNN. “He was showing signs of hypothermia, shock, dehydration.” It was later confirmed that he was in stable condition by late Friday morning.

“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, noting that the water temperature on Thursday night in the gulf was just slightly above 70F.

“The will to live is something you have to account for in every search and rescue case. This is one of the absolutely longest [times in the water] I’ve heard about and one of those Thanksgiving miracles.”

Related: Carnival Cruise Lines Introduces New Voyages From New York To The Caribbean