The Coast Guard and the Carnival Valor captain have now confirmed a passenger did not go overboard and that it was all a misunderstanding.
“Now our response in the search and review has been completed and we can confirm there was a misunderstanding of a guest falling. We can confirm there was no man overboard. We do have a guest that does need urgent medical care and by us stopping the ship, it has allowed our guest to be disembarked to receive the medical attention required ashore. We want to thank each and every one of you for your understanding of the situation and our duty of care for all guests and crew,” said the Carnival Valor captain to passenger.
“The Coast Guard confirmed with the Carnival Valor that a miscommunication occurred. A man had not fallen overboard but fell after having heart attack-like symptoms. One of the Coast Guard assets on scene–a 29-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat crew–loaded the passenger and transferred him to awaiting EMS at the New Orleans cruise terminal,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Gabriel Wisdom with the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard did confirm they received a call for a passenger overboard the Carnival Valor around 4:30pm on Feb. 26th, 2022, but have since been told it was a misunderstanding. The Coast Guard did conduct ‘search patterns’ in the Mississippi River around mile marker 88-86.2.
Multiple assets from the Coast Guard responded from the New Orleans Air Station Helicopter Crew, the Coast Guard Cutter Amber Jack to two 29′ special purpose crafts.
The cruise just left New Orleans earlier on Feb. 26th.
Initially, passengers onboard the ship said the cruise captain came over the speaker and told them a passenger was overboard.