2022 Man of the Year: James Michael Grimes

Carnival Cruise Line ships are often referred to affectionately as “Carnival Ships Out to Sea”, because they were put out at sea by them. “Carnivore” Cruises are known for their floating bacchanals. “Choose fun,” The company informs its crew.

James Michael Grimes took the company’s advice as the Carnival Valor floated down to Cozumel, Mexico. The 28-year old Alabama native was having the best time of his adult life. He went a bit too far. In fact, it was a lot.

Grimes, Grimes’ sister, told his sister that he was going for a quick trip to the toilet and would return shortly. He never returned.

Grimes claims he doesn’t remember what happened next. “When I came to, regained consciousness, I was in the water,” He told the story Good Morning America. In fact, he doesn’t remember anything except winning an air guitar competition. But he didn’t fret. He just kept swimming.

Grimes was in the Gulf of Mexico for 12 hours when his family reported him missing. Then he noticed something: “It had more like a flat mouth and came up and bumped one of my legs and I kicked it with the other leg. It scared me not knowing what it was.” He refers to it in this way: “A sea creature.”

Grimes said that GMA needs sustenance. “A stick come floatin’ by. It looked like bamboo. So I started eatin’ on it, and it actually—I’m not gonna say it tasted good but it gave some type of flavor in my mouth other than saltwater.”

It took the Coast Guard another six hours to find their missing man, who was swimming toward a tanker—the search radius was 7,000 square miles. “The Lord was with me,” Grimes said that he was able to climb aboard rescue litter with every ounce of energy he had. He was also naked.

Grimes admits he drank during the day—he earned a free drink for his victory in the air guitar competition. Grimes responded to GMA’s inquiry about how many drinks. “I couldn’t really say.”

He shouldn’t.

He keeps his head above the water, fights off sea creatures, is an air guitar champion and wants to go on another cruise “because I really didn’t get to go on this one,” James Michael Grimes is an author. Washington Free Beacon Man of the year.

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