A young man who boarded a Carnival Cruise ship recently celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday is speaking out for the first time. According to Good Morning America, the passenger, James Michael Grimes, was missing for about 20 hours.
James Michael Grimes, 28, is speaking out for the first time since being missing on a Carnival cruise ship for nearly 20 hours. https://t.co/mZ4eFXBNQK
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) December 2, 2022
Grimes fell into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Thanksgiving Day. According to Good Morning America reports, the 28-year-old was determined to stay alive.
“Jelly Fish, Rip Currents, and Shark-Infested Water”
Apparently, Grimes had only been on the cruise for a day before reporting her sister missing. The two were last seen together at a restaurant after winning a guitar competition.
The 28-year-old then went to the bathroom and was never seen again.
According to Good Morning America, that’s the last memory Grimes has of that night. It is believed that his fall knocked him unconscious.
The next thing I know, I woke up. I was in the water without seeing the boat.
Despite the chaos and darkness that surrounded him, Grimes was determined to survive.
I felt like I was given an opportunity right away… you’re alive for a reason… [fall] they could have killed me, but I felt like from that moment on, I tried to stay hopeful. And, you know when you are here, you are still alive for a reason. So, what you have to do now is to swim and survive. I was hoping…they will start looking for me…they will find me after some time.
According to Good Morning America, Grimes apparently fell into what is known as a shark feeding area. And he remembered seeming to approach an unknown creature.
I was swimming on one side, and I looked around, and I saw it out of the corner of my eye. It came to me very quickly, and I went down.
It wasn’t a shark, I can’t believe it. It had a flat mouth and it came and hit one of my legs, and I threw it with the other leg. It scared me, not knowing what it was. All I could see was a fin.
Despite being close to the unknown, Grimes says her biggest fear that night was drowning.
I wanted to see my family and I was ready to get out of there. I didn’t accept that this was it, this was going to be the end of my life. I am 28 years old. I am very young. This will not be the case.
James Michael Grimes told ABC News in an interview that he may have died after falling from the Carnival Valor into the water, but he was determined to survive and decided not to float. https://t.co/RYv7Czvbda
– The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 2, 2022
As night approached on Thanksgiving, Grimes faced one last hope. He says he saw the lights of the ship and swam towards it.
This was my last burst of energy. The energy I had – I used almost everything again, trying to make …
When a US Coast Guard helicopter arrived, it lifted Grimes out of the water. At this time, he was floating 20 kilometers south of Louisiana’s Southwest Pass, as reported by the New York Post. It was an embarrassing moment to suffer from hypothermia, shock, and dehydration.
According to a Coast Guard statement, Grimes was transferred to await emergency treatment at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
We greatly appreciate the efforts of all, especially the US Coast Guard and the sailors who saw the stranger in the water. Cruise ships have safety barriers in all public areas that are regulated by US Coast Guard standards that prevent passengers from falling. Visitors are not allowed to board the train. The only way to get into the water is to deliberately climb past the safety barriers.
Grimes Is Confident There Is a “Greater Purpose” for Her Life
Grimes was on a five-day cruise with 18 family members. The ship was on its way to Cozumel, a Mexican island in the Caribbean.
In a special interview with Good Morning AmericaHe calls the night “Thanksgiving to remember” and says that he now knows that there is a “greater purpose” for his life.
UPDATE: James Michael Grimes said he tread water for nearly 20 hours after falling overboard on a Carnival cruise ship on Thanksgiving Eve – battling jelly fish, choppy waves and shark-infested waters before being picked up by the US Coast Guard.
– Good Morning America (@GMA) December 2, 2022
I always thought I had a great purpose in life. Now, I know for sure that I have to do something on this Earth. And, you know, I don’t know. It was just the Lord who was out there helping me, giving me strength, and helping me not to move.