The Carnival Magic cruise ship is seen reaching port in Galveston, Texas, in 2014. (Reuters)
Two spring-breakers in Port Canaveral, Fla., were almost rammed by a Carnival Cruise ship after falling off their jet ski and landing in the path of the oncoming ocean liner.
Skylar Penpasuglia, 19, and Allison Garrett, 20, had been maneuvering their jet ski near the mouth of the Port Canaveral harbor on Saturday afternoon when they flipped over and fell into the water. At the same time, the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic cruise ship was making its way out of the port, and there wasn’t enough time to steer around the women, reports Florida Today.
"I was limited in how far I could I could maneuver out of the way," said Port Canaveral Harbor Pilot Capt. Doug Brown, who was at the helm of the Carnival Magic.
Brown says a breeze was pushing both women into the path of the liner, and that they were "in extremely close proximity to the bow of the ship now bearing down on their position."
Luckily, Brown had witnessed both skiers falling into the water and quickly alerted Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Taner Primmer, who was stationed in a patrol boat nearby.
As Brown tried his best to change the ship’s course, Primmer zoomed over to the women and began yanking them out of the water. The Carnival Magic came just feet from Primmer’s boat by the time he was able to get both women on-board and leave the area.
Carnival Magic Cruise ship nearly runs over jet skiershttps://t.co/PVEkijbzEM pic.twitter.com/gK1Oex27xB
— Draw Sketch (@HE99632) March 13, 2017
A Carnival Cruise passenger captured the daring rescue on video, too. As the footage shows, Penpasuglia and Garrett came within seconds of being hit by — or dragged under — the Magic. Several of the passengers in the footage can be heard saying that they believed that the boat did indeed strike their overturned jet ski.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department has already commended Brown and Primmer’s teamwork.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the actions of Deputy Taner Primmer, a member of our SeaPort Security Marine Unit who placed his life in peril without hesitation to rescue the young girls, and the Harbor Master Pilot, who not only maintained communication with the deputy, but was able to safely veer the ship, providing Deputy Primmer the extras seconds needed,” Ivey told Florida Today.