Cruise passenger who was floating on water for 20 hours speaks up, says he never accepted ‘this is it’

The Carnival cruise ship passenger who disappeared in the Gulf of Mexico and was floating in the water for 20 hours before being rescued said in an interview Friday that he never accepted “this is it” after falling into the ocean.

“I wanted to see my family and I was determined to get out of there. I never accepted that this is it,” James Micheal Grimes described in an interview with ABC News. “I am 28 years old. I am too young. This is not going to be all.”

“I always thought there was a greater purpose for my life. Now, I know for sure that I am meant to do something on this Earth,” he added.

The Carnival Valor cruise ship departs from the Port of New Orleans in New Orleans on Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)


Grimes disappeared around 11 p.m. after leaving a bar to use the bathroom the night before Thanksgiving as the ship headed for Cozumel, Mexico on a five-day voyage.

The next thing he reportedly remembered was waking up in the ocean and the cruise ship was nowhere in sight, he explained. She said that she did not remember how she fell overboard.

Heart Security Latest Change Change %

“I felt like I was given a chance at that moment,” he said, telling himself “you’re alive for a reason.”

“That [fall] It could have killed me, but I felt like from that point on, I was trying to stay positive,” he continued. “All you have to do now is swim and survive.”

He described trying to make sure that “they’ll start looking for me… eventually they’ll find me.”

Carnival Cruise Passenger Rescued by Coast Guard

The Coast Guard airlifted a passenger from the Carnival cruise ship that went overboard in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. (Coast Guard/Fox News)


Grimes had been afloat for 20 hours before the US Coast Guard found and rescued her just before 8:30 pm on Thanksgiving night 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, a channel south of Louisiana at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

A Coast Guard diver involved in the salvage said Grimes had “between a minute and 30 seconds left before we completely lost him.”

“Mr. Grimes had nothing left. He had no energy. He had nothing left to give,” US Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Richard Hoefle told WWL. “My best guess is that he had between a minute and 30 seconds left before we completely lost him.”

“It’s hard to keep your mind in the right place, and then to throw that Hail Mary in the last few minutes waving, swinging a sock, anything to make yourself more visible to us, that’s survival,” Hoefle said, noting Grimes’ level. of exhaustion “he just had an incredible will to survive. And he did what he had to do.”

Passenger of the Carnival cruise ship is seen by the Coast Guard

A passenger from the Carnival cruise ship was seen by the Coast Guard before being rescued Thursday. (Coast Guard/Fox News)


Details remain unclear as to how Grimes fell into the ocean and, according to a Coast Guard statement to ABC, there are safety barriers in all public areas of the cruise ships to prevent people from falling off.

“Guests should never get on the rails. The only way to fall overboard is to climb over and cross the safety barriers on purpose,” the statement added.

FOX Business’s Greg Norman contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *