HomeOutdoorsNewsCarnival Cruise Ship Passenger Who Fell Overboard Details Battling Sharks and Jellyfish for 20 Hours

Carnival Cruise Ship Passenger Who Fell Overboard Details Battling Sharks and Jellyfish for 20 Hours

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

When James Michael Grimes stepped onto the Carnival Cruises that was headed for paradise, he had no idea how terrifying the experience would end up being. In a story that has now gone viral, James Michael Grimes faced unimaginable obstacles and terrifying circumstances after he fell off a cruise ship, falling into the deep ocean waters.

The harrowing moment took place in the Gulf of Mexico, an area that is a known feeding ground for sharks. Additionally, dangerous – and sometimes deadly – jellyfish are known to populate these waters as well.

When Grimes Fell Overboard His Terrifying Journey Was Only Beginning

In a recent interview, James Michael Grimes recounts the harrowing experience, detailing the moments he thought a shark was coming up on him, advancing fast. Grimes also remembers scouring the ocean waters for anything to eat to keep up his strength. After all, the man was treading water in the Gulf of Mexico for a jaw-dropping 20 hours.

According to James Michael Grimes, he had been celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with family members when he fell. He does concede that he was drinking the day of the fall. However, he doesn’t recall how many he had.

Grimes told a family member he was headed to the bathroom…however, the next thing he remembers is waking up in the ocean. And, there was no boat in sight. James Michael believes the fall overboard had knocked him unconscious.

Grimes Decided He Was Going To Make It In The Shark-Infested Ocean Waters

Grimes remembers waking up in the ocean, looking at total darkness except for the light from the stars and the moon.

“The next thing I know… I regained consciousness,” he recalls. “I was in the water with no boat in sight.”

It was at this moment that Grimes told himself he would survive the ordeal, somehow. James Michael remembers feeling like he was “given a chance right then.”

“That [fall] could’ve killed me,” he relates.

“But I felt like from that moment on, I was trying to stay positive,” James Micahel continues.

“And, you know when you’re here, you’re still alive for a reason,” he explains.

Grimes remembers watching a fin as it sped towards him in the water. He was certain this creature was a shark. He remembers looking into the water, and noticing the gigantic ocean-dwelling animal wasn’t a shark. However, it did advance on the man while he continued to tread water.

Grimes fended the massive fish off by kicking it as hard as he could. Grimes also kept an eye out for something to eat in the hopes of keeping up his strength. He did find a stick floating by. “It looked like bamboo,” Grimes relates. So he decided to slowly snack on the object.

“All you got to do now is swim and survive,” Grimes explains. “I was hoping… they will start looking for me… they will find me eventually.”