It is being called “one of those Thanksgiving miracles.”
On Wednesday, a male passenger and his sister were having drinks on the Carnival Valor cruise ship, sailing from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico, when at around 11:00 p.m., he stepped aside to use the restroom.
But the man did not return and was also not found in his room.
His sister reported him missing the next day at approximately noon, which prompted crew officials to blare announcements across the ship requesting the passenger check in with guest services.
After he did not turn himself in, the ship started turning around at around 2:00 p.m. The Carnival crew eventually called the U.S. Coast Guard thirty minutes later to notify them about the missing passenger.
A multi-crew air and sea search mission was immediately launched, extending more than 200 miles across the Gulf of Mexico, according to a Coast Guard official per CNN.
The resources used during the search included “a small boat from Venice, Florida, a helicopter based in New Orleans and airplanes from Clearwater, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama,” the outlet added.
The search intensified over the next few hours, as water temperatures were just hovering over 70 degrees, according to officials.