Rachel Fieldhouse


Cruise ship rescues 20 refugees

Cruise ship rescues 20 refugees

A cruise ship has rescued 20 refugees from a small boat near Cuba, amid a growing number of cruising vessels assisting refugees they encounter while at sea.

The Carnival Paradise was sailing between Mexico and Cuba when at least 20 refugees were spotted on what appeared to be a rowboat.

Vici Sheffield, a travel agent who was on the Carnival Paradise during the rescue, shared an image of the refugees online, revealing in the comments that passengers were told the refugees were taken aboard for “their own safety”.

“We just saved a boat in distress. Wow. First time for me,” she captioned the photo on her Facebook page, Vici’s Travels.

“Thankful they were spotted and the ship turned around.”

The boat was reportedly drifting at the time it was spotted, with the Carnival cruise ship slowing and turning around to assist those on board.

“In accordance with maritime law, we have taken them aboard our vessel and have notified all of the appropriate authorities,” the captain announced to cruise passengers, per CruiseHive.

Though the weather was clear, sunny and relatively calm at the time, the rowboat appeared visibly overloaded and in poor condition.

It was left adrift when the passengers were helped onto the cruise ship, with some containers left aboard.

Having left Tampa, Florida, on July 20, the Carnival Paradise was scheduled to visit Roatan, Honduras, followed by Cozumel, Mexico, before returning to Tampa on August 4.

The Carnival cruise ship's rescue comes just days after Carnival Sunrise rescued 12 Cuban refugees that were adrift to the south of Key West.

Mardi Gras, Carnival's flagship, rescued at least 22 refugees in two separate incidents in June, while Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas, Celebrity Cruise Line's Celebrity Apex, and Carnival's Carnival Magic have also been involved in rescues this year.

Image: Vici Sheffield

Our Partners