Husband Went Missing For 15 Hours On A Carnival Cruise Ship, And What Happened Next Has Been Described As A “Miracle”

Inside Edition via YouTube

Going on a vacation cruise should be a memorable, happy time—and well…for one passenger, one out of two isn’t bad. It may have been memorable, but it surely wasn’t very happy. At least in the moment.
When one 28-year-old passenger named James Grimes was thrown overboard off a Carnival cruise ship and into the Gulf of Mexico, he was determined to survive. However, after 15 hours of treading water, Grimes was on the verge of death. He was eventually finally found by a US Coast Guard member, but it took hours.

“He had no energy. He had nothing left to give,” Richard Hoefle, an aviation survival technician, told WWL-TV.

In fact, he was *this* close to not surviving. “My best guess is that he had between a minute and 30 seconds left before we lost him completely,” Hoefle said.

Grimes was rescued 20 miles south of Louisiana’s Southwest Pass after he was seen treading water (with barely anything left in him) by the crew of a cargo ship. The Guardsman threw Grimes a rescue sling to help him onto their ship taking him back.

“Once I handed that to him, he just collapsed into it. He didn’t have … he couldn’t talk to me. I was able to get his name and the cruise ship he had fallen off of,” Hoefle said.

Not only was Grimes physically (and mentally) exhausted from being in the water so long, he was also suffering from hypothermia.

“It’s hard to keep your mind in the right place, and then to throw that Hail Mary last couple of minutes of waving, swinging a sock around, anything to make himself more visible to us, that’s survival,” Hoefle said.

Gripping video shows moment Coast Guard rescues man who had fallen off cruise ship “He just had an incredible will to survive. And he did whatever he had to do,” he added.

It was very different than a normal rescue mission. Everyone reacts to this type of scenario in different ways, but Hoefle said this one was rare.

“Some people break down and cry, some people are in shock, and they don’t know what’s going on, some people are ecstatic and they act a little crazy because they are so happy to be out of the situation that they are in,” he stated. “That was a one in a million and we got it done.”

Check out the video below for an exclusive interview with Grimes, who goes over everything from how he ended up in the water to all the racing thoughts going through his mind in the moment!

What would you have done in Grimes’ situation?