Source AP ©

An Air Force Academy cadet overboard

An Air Force Academy cadet plunged about 50 feet (15 meters) from a cruise ship balcony into the ocean with a female passenger thanked afterwards his rescuers.

Princess Cruise's Grand Princess was about 150 miles (240 kilometers) off the coast of Galveston, Texas, on March 25 when the pair fell from the balcony of the woman's cabin.

Both were rescued hours later by boats launched from the ship.

In a statement issued through the academy, Ernesto Guzman, 22, thanked Princess Cruises and the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The combination of their quick response and my water survival training at the United States Air Force Academy combined to save my life during those five hours in the Gulf of Mexico," said Guzman, a junior at the school.

The company has not disclosed the circumstances of the incident or identified the 20-year-old woman involved.

"We have concluded that their going overboard was an accident, and we consider the matter closed," the company said in a March 26 statement.