The record for longest survival time at sea after falling off a cruise ship is reportedly seventeen hours.
According to ABC News, Tim Sears, a 31-year-old ex-Army paratrooper, survived 17 hours in the Gulf of Mexico after tumbling overboard on a Carnival Cruise ship. Sears doesn't remember how he ended up in the water, but he'd been drinking all day and night. A foreign cargo ship, en route to Texas, heard him screaming for help and rescued him.
Sears was lucky that the water was warmer than 70 degrees.
Source--ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1546015, and United States Search and Rescue Task Force.
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