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Lost at sea: man credits God for sustaining him during 20-hour ordeal

James Grimes, 28, had joined 18 members of his family on a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico over the American Thanksgiving weekend.

He had just won an air guitar contest, and around 11 pm told his sister he was going to use the washroom, CBN reports.

Grimes, who is from Lafayette, Alabama, has no idea what happened next because all he remembers is waking up in the ocean with no cruise ship in sight.

His family reported him missing the next day at around noon. The Coast Guard was contacted and started to search a 7,000-mile area.

After spending nearly 20 hours in the Gulf, his rescue has been described as nothing short of a miracle. The man who pulled Grimes from the water said he was in such rough shape, he would not have lasted another few minutes.

But the next morning as Grimes watched the sun rise stranded in the middle of the ocean, he wasn’t alone as the Lord was with him.

“When I came to, regained consciousness, I was in the water with no boat in sight,” Grimes told Good Morning America. “I can’t float myself, even when I’m trying to. So there had to be … the Lord was with me while I was out there because something was holding me up the whole time I was passed out.”

“The Lord gave me the will to live. It’s a miracle,” Grimes told CNN. “I wasn’t going to give up at any point in time just say, this is it, this is the end. It never came to that. I was determined to swim until my arms and legs could not hold my body up anymore.”

Then in an interview with WVTM-13, Grimes likened his ordeal to a 20-hour baptism that drew him closer to God:

“The Lord was with me all the way,” he said. “In a way, it was a 20-hour Baptism that drew me closer to God. I know that God saved me for a reason, and now I have to abide by His plan.”

READ: Man Survives ’20-Hour Baptism’ at Sea After Falling Off Cruise Ship: ‘The Lord Was With Me’

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