Man stranded at sea rescued by U.S. Coast Guard, pilot from Lindale

A 28-year-old man was rescued after falling off a cruise ship and surviving 15 hours at sea.
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (KLTV) - A 28-year-old man was rescued after falling off a cruise ship and surviving 15 hours at sea.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a call from the cruise ship Carnival Valor at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, reporting a passenger aboard the cruise ship was missing, according to a bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard. The release states the man fell overboard Wednesday evening.

In a social media post, the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans said they responded in coordination with the Eighth Coast Guard District and the U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

The man had fallen from the cruise ship about 30 nautical miles offshore from Pilottown, LA, according to the post; commercial vessel Crinis observed a person in the water and alerted crews. At 8:25 p.m., after four hours of searching, crews established a visual on the man, and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter hoisted the survivor out of the water then transported him to New Orleans Lakefront Airport where he was met by EMS, the Coast Guard said.

The MH-60 crew included Lieutenant Travis Rhea, who is a former Lindale student, class of 2008, and a Coast Guard pilot, according to the Lindale Independent School District.

“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. “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.”

The survivor was responsive when rescued and was last reported to be stable, U.S. Coast Guard Heartland said.