Saturday, March 17, 2007

Passenger Survives Leap From Cruise Ship

The Coast Guard rescued an Orlando man who jumped from a Carnival cruise ship out of Port Canaveral. Michael Mankamyer, 35, was in the water for eight hours before he was rescued. Mankamyer was on the cruise with a 16-year-old family friend, who's flying back to Orlando. The boy's family said Mankamyer is a trusted friend and they were shocked when they heard he went overboard. He spent more than eight hours in the water, before a Coast Guard crew lifted him out about 30 miles from Fort Lauderdale. Mankamyer was on the Carnival Glory cruise ship when he went overboard early Friday morning."I was shocked. He's been our friend for 15 years," said Margaret Wega. He was such a good friend, Wega said, Mankamyer was on the cruise with her son, Salvatore, to celebrate his 16th birthday. "He looks out for Salvi. If Salvi needs something, he's always there," she said. But Wega said she still doesn't know what went wrong. Eyewitnesses said Mankamyer was drunk and was seen running through his cabin and off his balcony, plunging 60 feet into the water."Nothing's wrong with him. Maybe he stumbled. I don't know," Wega said. It's a question the Coast Guard also wants to ask Mankamyer. It said few people survive in the water for so long, but he's now in a Miami hospital and expected to fully recover. Wega said she'll ask her son more about what happened when he arrives at the airport.

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