While the world is celebrating finding the Thai soccer team alive in a cave after being missing for 10 days, the U.S. Coast Guard found a cruise ship crew member who fell overboard. He was missing for almost 24 hours and was found in the ocean about 21 miles north of Cuba. The crew member had no injuries and was 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 the 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 crewmember and that was roughly about 21 miles north of Cuba,” said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 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 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, Lowinger made this statement: “Our condolences to the crew member’s family.”
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 crew member was eventually 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.
How the crew member went overboard remains under investigation.