In October 2012, Sarah Kirby and a group of friends decided to embark on a Carnival Cruise to celebrate her 30th birthday at sea. One night, Sarah says she was encouraged to get “extremely intoxicated” by a bartender onboard, which ultimately led to her falling over the railing and into the sea where she fought for her life. Now, Kirby is suing the cruise line.
"I just remember leaning over the balcony to look at the side of the ship and the next thing I knew I was in the water,” said Kirby to ABC News.
Infrared video cameras were able to catch footage of the fall. Kirby says that she was bleeding into the shark-infested waters while the ship sailed away from her, and the whole time, she thought she was going to die.
“I felt hopeless,” described Kirby. “Helpless and hopeless. It's pitch black out there. There's no land. No lights. I kept praying, 'please don't let me die, please don't let something eat me like a shark.'”
Kirby’s friend Rebecca frantically tried to get the ship’s captain to turn the boat around and save her friend, but the captain refused until a 90 minute sweep of the ship happened to make sure she wasn’t just lost on the large vessel.
After spending almost two hours in the water, Kirby was rescued from the waters.
"I was crying and sobbing and said 'Thank you for not leaving me’,” recalls Kirby.
Now, Kirby is suing Carnival Cruise lines because she was pressured to get drunk the night of her terrifying fall. An official at Carnival reportedly told Inside Edition, “It amazes me that someone would sue you after you successfully saved their life. Especially at night when the odds are against it."
Kirby also claims that she wasn’t properly treated for her injuries following the fall. The investigation is ongoing.