Tags: cruise | ship | migrants | cubans | carnival

Cruise Ship Migrants: Cubans Rescued by Passing Carnival Cruise

By    |   Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 09:22 AM

U.S. Coast Guard officials said a Carnival Cruise ship traveling from Key West, Fla., to Cozumel, Mexico, rescued 41 would-be Cuban immigrants from an overcrowded, sinking boat in the Florida Straights on Tuesday.

"This could've been a real tragedy. There was no lifesaving or navigation equipment and the boat was taking on water," Coast Guard spokesman Gabe Somma told Reuters.

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There were no injuries reported and the migrants were transferred from the Carnival Cruise ship Ecstasy to a Coast Guard patrol boat hours later.

Cubans who make it to U.S. shores are often allowed to stay under the so-called "wet-feet, dry-feet" policy, but because the migrants were found at sea, they are likely to be returned to Cuba "in a couple of days," according to the Coast Guard.

Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said there were 2,650 passengers aboard the Ecstasy at the time of rescue.

Ever since the communist takeover of Cuba in 1959, Cuban citizens have fled the country in droves, heading for Florida, Mexico, nearby islands, and Central America. In 1960, the U.S. government even facilitated the relocation of some 14,000 Cuban children under a program known as Operation Pedro Pan.

Cruise ships have been involved in many of these kinds of rescues over the years, and just this month another Carnival ship rescued 24 migrants from a wooden boat near the Cayman Islands. The Carnival Conquest and Disney Wonder also rescued 21 Cuban migrants in two separate incidents last April.

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U.S. Coast Guard officials said a Carnival Cruise ship traveling from Key West, Fla., to Cozumel, Mexico, rescued 41 would-be Cuban immigrants from an overcrowded, sinking boat in the Florida Straights on Tuesday.
cruise,ship,migrants,cubans,carnival
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2014-22-27
Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 09:22 AM
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