Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras was involved with a rescue at sea in the week when the vessel came across a small fishing boat with refugees from Cuba. The small motorboat, underway from Cuba to the Mexican mainland, had run out of fuel and supplies.
Mardi Gras did not take on the refugees but instead supplied them with enough fuel and supplies to make it to their final destination. Although ships are, by law, required to help those in need at sea, there is no need to take people on board. In this case, the supplies will have ensured their immediate safety, although the inherent risks of sailing a small boat across the Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean are clear.
Mardi Gras Makes U-Turn to Help Those in Need
While she was making her way back to Port Canaveral, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras came across a small fishing vessel with at least ten refugees onboard. The small boat had set off from Cuba, and the people were trying to make their way to the Mexican mainland.
During their time at sea, the ship had run out of fuel and supplies, causing an immediate emergency situation. Luckily, Mardi Gras was on hand to give a helping hand. The indecent, which occurred on Thursday, January 27, could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the Carnival Cruise ship.
Mardi Gras departed from her home port of Port Canaveral on January 22. After a day at sea, the vessel sailed to Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico and had another stop at Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras. During the first day at sea sailing from Roatan, Officers spotted a small fishing boat with refugees.
Mardi Gras subsequently made a u-turn in the channel that separates the Mexican coastline near Cancun and Cuba. After bringing the small boat alongside the crew members onboard supplied food, water, and fuel to the refugees. The refugees were not brought onboard, as there was no immediate need.
After another rescue for a Carnival Cruise ship, Mardi Gras is now back in Port Canaveral, preparing for her next voyage, a 7-day cruise that will visit Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay.
Cruise Ships Must Come to the Rescue
By law and tradition, cruise ships are bound to help anyone in distress at sea. The Safety Of Life At Sea agreements (SOLAS) and the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea states:
“every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far as he can do so without serious damage to the ship, the crew, or the passengers… render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost [and] to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress, if informed of the need of assistance, in so far as such action may reasonably be expected of him.”
It’s not the first time Carnival Cruise Line has been involved with a rescue at sea. In November of 2021, Carnival Cruise Line Captain Domenico Calise and the crew of the Carnival Ecstasy were recognized by the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) for their involvement with a medical rescue operation in the Bahamas.
Only a month before that, Carnival Sensation rescued 24 people on a small boat off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida. The small vessel took on water and was in danger of sinking. Carnival Sensation’s crew members provided much-needed blankets, life jackets, food, and water.
Crew members and officers have to undergo rigid training regimes before they can work on board. Depending on the position, this training could take many years. It is exactly for these types of situations that mariners train, knowing that their colleagues would do the same if they were ever in need of rescue at sea.