A man rescued from a cruise ship off the coast of Louisiana after he fell 15 feet onto the deck is in critical condition, officials said.
The 23-year-old man had to be medevaced from the cruise ship Carnival Valor in the Gulf of Mexico early Tuesday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The USCG said personnel in New Orleans received a request at around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday for a medevac of a man with multiple significant injuries after he fell on the ship, which was about 65 miles off the coast of Venice, Louisiana.
He had to be emergency lifted to a hospital in New Orleans after apparently falling, WWL-TV reported.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter flew to the cruise ship from the Coast Guard air station in New Orleans to medevac the man, the USCG said.
The rescue crew arrived around 5:45 a.m. and found the man with the ship's doctor. He was hoisted onto the helicopter and transported to the University Medical Center in New Orleans. The man, who has not been identified, arrived at the hospital in critical condition.
The USCG released a video showing the moment the man was hoisted onto the helicopter, but no other details about his accident were made available. It was not immediately clear what caused him to fall.
A Carnival Cruise spokesman confirmed to Newsweek that the man did not fall into the ocean but was injured on the deck.
"A 23-year-old male guest sailing on Carnival Valor was injured and, after being evaluated by the ship's medical team, it was determined that he required further evaluation and treatment," the spokesman said.
"He was airlifted off the ship via helicopter and transferred to a shoreside medical facility. We can confirm that the guest did not fall in the water but rather was injured on deck," the spokesman added.
The Carnival Valor is a New Orleans-based ship that carries almost 3,000 passengers on cruises to the Caribbean, according to the Carnival website.
The incident comes days after a federal judge told top Carnival Corp. executives to work faster to fix ocean pollution problems caused by the world's largest cruise line.
During a hearing in a Miami federal court last week, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz said she expects more concrete action and fewer promises from Carnival, the Associated Press reported.
The cruise company is about halfway through a five-year probation sentence for a criminal pollution conviction in 2016.
Chairman Micky Arison, who also owns the Miami Heat, and CEO Arnold Donald both maintained that the company is doing a lot but that it takes time to implement real changes at a company that has 120,000 employees, more than 100 cruise ships and nine different brands.
"We strive to be perfect," Arison told the judge, according to the Associated Press. "We won't ever be perfect, but we are going to work toward that."
Earlier this year, Carnival admitted violating probation from a 2016 criminal case, with its ships continuing to cause environmental harm around the world since then. It was hit with a $20 million penalty on top of the $40 million fine imposed in the original case.