Carnival ship rescues Cubans stranded off Yucatan coast

The U.S. Coast Guard said it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles/U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard said it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles/U.S. Coast Guard

A cruise ship well-known to the port of Progreso was part of a rescue Sunday on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Carnival Fantasy was heading back to its home port in Alabama when it encountered 23 Cuban refugees who were adrift for days.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it worked with the cruise ship, which had recently pulled out of Cozumel, to rescue the migrants.

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A Coast Guard news statement issued Sunday saying 22 Cubans started traveling on a wooden boat from Cuba to Mexico before losing power and drifting three days.

A Cuban-Mexican man took them aboard his sports fishing boat, but then that vessel’s engines malfunctioned and the group drifted three more days.

The Coast Guard was contacted early Sunday by one of the stranded passenger’s brother. The Carnival Fantasy was alerted by the Coast Guard to watch for the drifting watercraft.

Within hours, the cruise ship located the vessel and took the 23 people aboard about 130 nautical miles / 210 kilometers off the Yucatan Peninsula.

A Coast Guard statement said two of the people rescued had minor medical issues and were treated by medical staff on the ship. The 23 migrants were to be transferred Tuesday to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard Investigative Services in Mobile, Ala.

With information from The Associated Press

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