When Frank Jade fell over the side of huge cruise ship Oasis of the Seas off Mexico, few would have given much for his chances of survival.
It is unclear if anyone even saw the American go over the side, so there was no alarm and no search. And the waters off Cozumel, Mexico are warm – but also contain at least four species of sharks.
But astonishingly, after five hours in the water as little more than a tiny spec, passengers and crew aboard the Disney Magic spotted him and organised a rescue last week.
It is unclear how Frank fell from the 16-storey Oasis-class ship approximately 13 kilometres from Cozumel, Mexico on Thursday.
The Disney Magic spotted the man whilst following the same path as Oasis of the Seas. They immediately lowered a rescue boat into the water to retrieve him, and he was transferred to a private clinic in Punta Langsota.
Surprised medical staff said he was a stable condition without serious injuries.
According to reports, Royal Caribbean did not comply with safety acts including the deployment of an automatic man overboard system.
Disney has praised passengers and crew from the Magic for spotting the man in the water, lowering a lifeboat, and getting him onboard safely.
Royal Caribbean has not commented on the incident.