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Man Who Fell Off Carnival Cruise Ship And Treaded Water For 20 Hours Reveals How He Survived

James Michael Grimes opened up about his harrowing ordeal on 'Good Morning America'.

James Michael Grimes

How would someone survive if they were stranded in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a day?

James Michael Grimes—who fell off a cruise ship over Thanksgiving week and survived 20 hours in the ocean without life vest, boat, or supplies—told Good Morning America how he did it.

Mostly it was fending off jellyfish.

You can see his story here:

Grimes doesn't remember how he went from saying goodnight to his sister on Thanksgiving Eve after a few drinks on their Carnival cruise to waking up in the water with no ship in sight.

He somehow managed to survive 20 hours treading water, avoiding jellyfish, gnawing on floating bamboo and dodging something weird and large with a fin.

“It came up on me really quick and I went under, and I could see it. And it wasn’t a shark, I don’t believe."
"But it had more like a flat mouth, and it came up and bumped one of my legs, and I kicked it with the other leg."
"It scared me, not knowing what it was, all I could see was a fin.”

Miraculously, when Grimes was picked up by a Coast Guard tanker nearly a whole day and night after falling overboard, he was in stable condition.

“I was never accepting that this is it—this is going to be the end of my life.”

Reactions to his ordeal were mixed.

Some felt his story confirmed their worst fears about cruise ships.

But others?

Others were focused on how he wound up in the water.

However he wound up in the water, people were impressive how long he survived.

He wrapped up the interview well, as one commenter highlighted with a quote.

Maybe he'll get his true cruise another day, if he can stand going on the ocean again.