MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard says a cruise ship crew member who was missing for nearly 24 hours was found out in the ocean north of Cuba with no injuries and in stable condition.
About half an hour after passengers aboard the Norwegian Getaway cruise ship docked in Miami, the U.S. Coast Guard got word that a crew member who went overboard Saturday afternoon northwest of Cuba had been found alive and well out in the ocean waters by another cruise ship.
“The Carnival Glory had found someone in the water waving their arms and they rescued him and he was the missing Norwegian crew member and that was roughly about 21 miles north of Cuba,” said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally.
The U.S. Coast Guard says it received a report Saturday around 3:20 p.m. that a 33-year-old Filipino crew member went overboard 28 miles northwest of Cuba.
Passengers aboard the Norwegian Getaway say they watched the search efforts.
“We saw the cruise ship made a u-turn and started heading back. We noticed that the crew members were using binoculars trying to find the crew member in the ocean,” said passenger Eddy Lowinger.
The Coast Guard says one of its cutters and a two aircraft assisted in the search.
Passengers assumed the worst.
“Our condolences to the crew member’s family,” said Lowinger.
But the U.S. Coast Guard continued its search for the crew member.
“Our crews continued searching throughout the night,” said Lally. “The total square mileage that our crew searched was 1,636 sq. mi.”
The crewmember would be found 26 miles outside of the U.S. Coast Guard’s search area.
“One of the things that the coast guard could never calculate when it comes to in search and rescue is the person’s will to live,” said Lally.
The U.S. Coast Guard tells us Carnival Glory’s next port of call is Cozumel, Mexico, and that’s where the crew member is expected to disembark.
As far as how the crew member went overboard, that remains under investigation.