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He disappeared on a boat and that's how he was rescued

He disappeared on a boat and that’s how he was rescued

(CNN) — Then in the first hour Festival Departing New Orleans on Thanksgiving Eve, a brother and sister head into the party atmosphere.

As expected, the man left at some point to use the bathroom.

But he never came back.

Hours passed.

He is not in the cabin.

The 28-year-old simply disappeared.

What happened next stunned at least one seasoned sailor who, with hours of hindsight, said the surprising result was unlike anything he’d ever seen, and nothing like “one of those Thanksgiving miracles.”

An air and sea search begins

Her sister said it was 11 p.m. when her brother left, Carnival spokesman Matt Lupoli told CNN in a statement Thursday.

At noon the next day, during Thanksgiving, she reported missing him. Officials have not identified anyone.

Announcements for missing passengers on the ship sounded to get guest services, passenger Mike Anderson told CNN on Thursday, and people “started searching the ship with photos of the missing (passengers) on their phones.”

At 2pm, the final registration request was issued.

Passengers were told their port of call in Cozumel, Mexico, would be delayed, Anderson said. His wife, Whitney Gaines, said one of the ship’s pools had drained, but the couple said no official announcement had been made yet.

The ship, Anderson pointed out, then turned away.

“Carnival heroism has made its way back in favor of search and rescue,” Lupoli explained.

Then, around 2:30 p.m., the Coast Guard received a call from the ship, Coast Guard Lt. Phillip Vanderweide said in a statement.

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A tourist is missing.

Soon, a search by multiple teams by air and sea began, he said.

An area of ‚Äč‚Äčover 320 km and an important mission

An alert was sent to all sailors in the Gulf, and the Coast Guard “launched all available resources,” USCG search and rescue coordinator Lt. Seth Cross told CNN Friday morning.

That included a small boat from Venice, Florida, a New Orleans-based helicopter and planes from Clearwater, Florida and Alabama, he said.

The search spanned more than 200 miles in the Gulf, Gross said, and water temperatures there were above 70 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday night, and it was somewhat cooler in the Mississippi River.

Given the time difference between when the man was last seen and when the Coast Guard was alerted, “we knew that communication with sailors in the Gulf of Mexico would be critical,” Gross said.

Work intensified.

The crew of the bulk carrier CRINIS was monitoring the waters about 20 miles south of the Southwest Pass of Louisiana, the Coast Guard said in a news release Friday.

Then, at about 8:25 p.m., They saw something.

A case without comparison

It is man.

The crew of a New Orleans Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter went to the scene and “got the man into the helicopter,” VanderWeit said.

USCG Petty Officer Ryan Graves said he was alive.

“He was able to recognize his name and confirm that he was the one who crossed the border,” Gross told CNN’s Boris Sanchez on Friday afternoon. “He showed signs of hypothermia, shock, dehydration,” but was able to walk and communicate.

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He “didn’t really give a clear indication of why he went overboard or at what time in particular,” he added.

“The fact that he was able to float on the surface of the water for so long is something that can’t be taken for granted and will definitely stay with me forever,” Gross said.

Rescuers could not determine exactly how long he had been in the water, Cross told “CNN This Morning,” but it was likely more than 15 hours.

If it’s long, he said, it’s “the longest I’ve ever heard of, and one of the miracles of Thanksgiving.”

According to Cross, in his 17-year career, “this case is like nothing I’ve ever seen.” “I think it changes the norm, the norm, and shows that the will to live has to be taken into account in all search and rescue events.”

“Had it not been for the alert crew on board the CRINIS motorboat, this case could have had a much more difficult outcome,” he said in the press release. “It took a total team effort from Coast Guard patrols, response teams and our professional maritime partners operating in the Gulf of Mexico to locate the missing person and bring them to safety.”

The rescued man was transferred to waiting emergency medical personnel at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, Graves said.

He is being evaluated at a hospital, Cross said, and the Coast Guard said he was in stable condition as of Friday morning.

Back on the Carnival Whaler, an announcement over the public address system Thursday night informed guests that an incident had occurred aboard the ship, Anderson said.

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The ship, freed from the search, headed back to Cozumel, Anderson recalled.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Dave Alsup, Amanda Jackson, Sara Smart, Jose Lesh and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.