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A cruise ship passenger was rescued by the Coast Guard after hours in Gulf waters

A Carnival cruise ship docked in San Francisco, California.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: In an aerial view, the Carnival Miracle cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Lines sits docked at Pier 27 on September 30, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Carnival reported third-quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations with revenues of $4.31 billion, up from $546 million one year ago but under the estimate of $4.90 billion. Shares of Carnival fell 20 percent when the company predicted a loss in the next quarter. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A cruise ship passenger had been missing for hours before he was rescued from sea waters by the U.S. Coast Guard off of Louisiana's southeast coast on Thursday evening.

The passenger, who officials identified as a 28-year old man, was found about 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, La., after he'd fallen overboard from a Carnival Valor cruise ship on Wednesday evening, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

However, cruise ship officials did not contact the Coast Guard New Orleans Sector to report the missing passenger until 2:30 p.m. local time on Thursday. Hours later, aircrew members of the Coast Guard rescued the passenger at 8:25 p.m. It was a crew aboard the bulk carrier vessel Crinis that had alerted Coast Guard members to the man's location after spotting a person in the water.

In footage released by the Coast Guard, the passenger is lifted from the dark waters and onto a helicopter operated by an aircrew. He was then transported to the New Orleans Lakefront Airport to receive emergency medical attention. The passenger was in stable condition as of Friday.

"We are beyond grateful that this case ended with a positive outcome," said Lt. Seth Gross, a Sector New Orleans search and rescue mission coordinator.

"It took a total team effort from Coast Guard watchstanders, response crews, and our professional maritime partners operating in the Gulf of Mexico to locate the missing individual and get him to safety," Gross said. "If not for the alert crew aboard the motor vessel Crinis, this case could have had a much more difficult ending."

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