September 29, 2023
Carnival Cruise passenger rescued from ocean is not positive how he went overboard
(CNN) — An Alabama man who rescuers pulled from the Gulf of Mexico hours after he was reported lacking from a cruise ship would not understand how he wound up in the water, he instructed ABC.
James Michael Grimes, who treaded water for a big a part of Thanksgiving Day earlier than he was rescued, would not bear in mind falling off the Carnival Valor, he mentioned in an interview aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

The 28-year-old had misplaced consciousness and easily awoke within the water, he mentioned.

“I got here to. … I used to be within the water with no boat in sight,” Grimes instructed ABC.

Grimes and his household had been simply hours right into a cruise — departing Thanksgiving eve from New Orleans to Mexico — when he vanished. His eventual rescue, which occurred after a bulk service crew noticed him within the water and alerted the US Coast Guard, was “a type of Thanksgiving miracles,” a Coast Guard official has mentioned.

Grimes was at an onboard bar along with his sister earlier than strolling off to make use of a restroom round 11 the evening earlier than Thanksgiving, his sister recalled, in response to a Carnival assertion to CNN.

James Michael Grimes, 28, spoke to ABC for an interview aired Friday morning.

James Michael Grimes, 28, spoke to ABC for an interview aired Friday morning.

ABC Information

He’d had drinks on the Valor, however was not inebriated, Grimes instructed ABC. He would not bear in mind leaving to discover a toilet, he mentioned.

He merely “regained consciousness” within the ocean, with the Valor nowhere to be seen, he instructed ABC.

The following many hours — maybe greater than 15, the Coast Guard has mentioned — Grimes simply tried to remain afloat and was “lifeless set on making it out of there,” the instructed ABC.

“I used to be by no means accepting that that is it — that is going to be the top of my life,” he instructed the TV community.

‘It scared me … all I might see was a fin’

He battled confusion, fatigue, and a few form of creature under. “It got here up on me actually fast. And I went underneath, and I might see it. And it wasn’t a shark, I do not imagine. However it had extra like a flat mouth, and it got here up and bumped certainly one of my legs, and I kicked it with the opposite leg. It scared me, not figuring out what it was … all I might see was a fin,” he instructed ABC.

At one other level, Grimes grabbed a floating stick that “regarded like bamboo” — and he began chewing it.

“It gave some kind of taste in my mouth apart from saltwater,” he instructed ABC.

When Thanksgiving day began passing into night, the water “began getting colder — at the moment, I assumed, , ‘How for much longer am I going to should be out right here?'” he mentioned.

Grimes’ household had reported him lacking at midday on Thanksgiving. The ship known as the Coast Guard that afternoon, and the service despatched an alert to all mariners within the Gulf to scan the water for him.

The water temperature within the Gulf was simply above 70 levels on Thanksgiving evening, Lt. Seth Gross, a search and rescue coordinator for the USCG, instructed CNN final week.

Grimes finally noticed lights from a tanker ship, and swam towards it, he instructed ABC.

That ship’s crew spotted him round 8:25 p.m. and alerted the Coast Guard, which despatched a helicopter crew to hoist him out of the water, the service has mentioned.

“The very first thing I truly instructed (the Coast Guard rescuer) was, ‘I haven’t got any garments on,’ as a result of I did not. I … stripped out of every thing,” Grimes recalled to ABC. “He mentioned, ‘That is high-quality.’ … I used to be simply considering, ‘Thanks. You’re like a guardian angel coming down for me.'”

Grimes was taken to medical personnel at a New Orleans airport, after which transferred to a hospital.

Grimes misplaced some weight from the ordeal, ABC reported. He mentioned the expertise modified him, however he isn’t against happening one other cruise.

“I may not get inside 10 foot of the rails, however I undoubtedly can be open to go on one other cruise, as a result of I actually did not get to go on this one,” he instructed ABC.

CNN’s Andi Babineau and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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