MIAMI – A 35-year-old man, apparently having a little too much fun aboard one of Carnival's "fun ships," miraculously survived nearly eight hours bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean early Friday after racing drunk through the ship, jumping over the balcony in his room and plunging 60 feet into the waves below, Coast Guard officials said.
The man, identified as Michael Mankamyer, was rescued a little before 9 a.m. EDT about 30 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was airlifted by the Coast Guard to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Petty Officer Jennifer Johnson said.
Mankamyer was a passenger aboard the Carnival Glory, which is based in Port Canaveral, Fla. The ship alerted the Coast Guard at 12:45 a.m. EDT that a passenger was missing. The ship was on a seven-day cruise and was bound for Nassau, Bahamas, when Mankamyer went overboard, according to a prepared statement from Carnival Cruises.
A witness who was in the cabin when Mankamyer jumped overboard told officials he was intoxicated, the Coast Guard said.
After the cruise ship alerted authorities, it stayed in the area to assist with the search, spokesman Petty Officer 1st Class Dana Warr said. "The time that they did spend was appreciated," he said.
The Carnival Glory was later joined in the search by the Disney Magic, Warr said. Both ships were cleared to leave the area when the Coast Guard cutters Chandeleur and Vigorous and a helicopter took up the search, Johnson said.
"It was nothing short of a miracle that he survived," Johnson told FOXNews.com. "He was waving and shouting at the cutter that found him, and was mildly hypothermic."
"It's not that it doesn't happen, but it's few and far between when we're trying to find someone that jumps from a cruise ship," Warr said.
Mankamyer had no floatation device or other safety gear on him when he fell 60 feet, Johnson said, adding that they do not yet know how he managed to survive.
The Coast Guard reported 6-foot seas at the time of incident. The National Weather Service reported the air temperature in the area was about 75 degrees. The National Oceanographic Data Center reported water temperature off the Miami coast averages between 65-70 degrees in March.
Mankamyer was in good condition when rescuers aboard the Chandeleur airlifted him to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Johnson said.
A hospital spokeswoman would not confirm his condition, but said she spoke with Mankamyer Friday morning and that he instructed hospital officials not to release any information to the news media.
A Miami Dade Police spokesman said there were no charges pending against Mankamyer.
The Coast Guard said that because the ship was cruising in international waters when Mankamyer decided to jump overboard, no federal charges could be filed.
Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher said no additional details were immediately available.
The Carnival Glory is expected back at Port Canaveral on Saturday.
FOXNews.com's George Kindel reported and wrote this story. The Associated Press contributed to the report.