A Carnival cruise ship passenger experienced a holiday miracle this week, when he reportedly fell overboard into the Gulf of Mexico and was found alive Thursday — after disappearing at sea for more than 15 hours.
"[It's] just one of those Thanksgiving miracles," Lt. Seth Gross of the U.S. Coast Guard told CNN.
The yet-to-be-identified man had apparently been on the cruise with his sister at the Carnival Valor's bar around 11 p.m. Wednesday.
According to CNN, the man took a bathroom break ... but never returned to his sister at the bar.
At the time of this writing, there's no official word as to how the man fell overboard after exiting the cruise bar.
Adding to the surreal nature of this incident, she didn't report her brother's absence until around 12 noon the next day.
After that, the Cozumel, Mexico-bound ship reversed course, as a means of retracing its path back toward New Orleans, according to Carnival spokesman Matt Lupoli.
More than two hours later, Carnival alerted the Coast Guard about the missing man, and a search crew was quickly tasked with the seemingly implausible mission of finding the passenger, while surveying more than 200 miles of the Gulf of Mexico.
The unidentified man was fortunate to be floating in warm waters, with an estimated temperature of 70 degrees, CNN reports.
After the search party located the missing man, who was responsive at the time of the rescue, he was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New Orleans.
The man remained in the hospital overnight Thursday, so doctors could evaluate his progress.
"I think it kind of blows the norm, the normalcy, out of the water here, and really just shows the will to live is something that you need to account for in every search-and-rescue case," said Gross.
Regarding the man spending an approximate time of 15 hours in the water, Gross quipped it's "the absolute longest that I've heard about."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.