An Arizona man who fell from a cruise liner off St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands was rescued after three hours in the water this weekend in what Coast Guard officials said was a lucky escape.
Eric Angel, 20, fell from the bow of the Nordic Empress at about 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to Lt. Johnny Gonzalez of the Coast Guard in San Juan, Puerto Rico
. Angel, from Phoenix, Arizona, was rescued three hours later north of St Thomas island and taken to hospital to be treated for a shoulder injury, Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said the captain of the Nordic Empress, which is operated by Royal Caribbean International and was traveling from San Juan to St Thomas when the incident occurred, spotted Angel on the bow shortly before he fell, which could have helped save his life.
If the crew had not known roughly where and when Angel had fallen overboard, the search area would have been far larger.