Overboard Cruise Passenger Spent Hours in Gulf of Mexico Before He Was Rescued

It’s not clear how or when the 28-year-old man went overboard, but Coast Guard officials suggested his rescue was a Thanksgiving miracle.

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A man who went overboard during a holiday cruise in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued after several hours in the water off New Orleans, authorities said Friday.

The 28-year-old, who was not publicly identified, may have been in the water for at least six hours when he was plucked from the sea Thursday. He was rescued about 20 miles south of Louisiana's Southwest Pass, where the Mississippi River meets the coast, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The man's survival was hailed as unlikely and possibly miraculous given the time he may have been in the water. Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Graves said the man did not have a flotation device, and survival at sea without one is unlikely.

It's not clear how or when the man went overboard. Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement that an accidental fall into the water would be rare and physically challenging.

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