NEW ORLEANS, LA. (CNN) – The Coast Guard rescued a 23-year-old man who fell almost 20-feet on the Carnival Valor Cruise Ship early Tuesday morning.
The man sustained serious injuries after falling from an interior balcony onto the deck of the cruise ship.
After the fall, the Coast Guard launched a helicopter from New Orleans to airlift the man to a hospital. He was reportedly stabilized by the medical crew before arriving at the hospital.
An official said the cruise ship was 65 miles off the coast of Venice at the time of the incident, but it turned back to the mouth of Mississippi River for the helicopter rescue.
Passengers on the ship said they initially didn’t know they were turning around but noticed the ride became rocky as they sped back.
"My mother-in-law got really sick, it started giving us headaches. People weren't able to stand up, we were holding onto rails at the buffet and pizza counter,” one of the passengers said.
The next morning is when passengers said they were told about the incident.
"They said it was a medical evac, that we had to turn around that we were headed back to Mexico, and that any excursions that were interrupted, they would personally let us know and that they would extend our time at Cozumel,” the cruise ship passenger said.
The man was reportedly on a honeymoon with his wife at the time of the fall.