Carnival Cruise Line ship rescues 23 people from disabled vessel on the high seas

Image: USCG 8th District photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles
Image: USCG 8th District photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles

The crew of the a Carnival Cruise Line ship rescued 23 individuals on the high seas some 130 nautical miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, April 14.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) 7th and 8th District command centers received a report at 01:15 local time from a Cuban national stating his brother and 22 other individuals were adrift aboard a disabled sports fisher.

It was reported that 22 Cuban nationals started their voyage from Cuba to Mexico on a wooden boat before it lost power and went adrift for three days. They were noticed by a Cuban-Mexican national who took all 22 individuals aboard his sports fisher vessel.

The boat’s engines reportedly malfunctioned and the 23 people became adrift for an additional three days.

USCG watchstanders alerted the cruise ship Carnival Fantasy and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules aircrew to search two reported areas. With no signs of distress and a need to refuel, the HC-130 returned to base.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew launched to relieve the Hercules aircrew to search a third location and located the vessel with the individuals at 08:40.

Carnival Fantasy arrived on scene and brought the individuals on board at 10:47. Two individuals had minor medical issues that were treated by the cruise ship’s medical staff.

The 23 individuals will be transferred to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) in Mobile, Alabama, on Tuesday, April 16.

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