Carnival Magic responded to a distress call off the Florida coast early in the morning of Saturday, April 9, relaying messages to rescue a man stranded in a disabled sailboat. The ship acted quickly and the man was safely rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The man was stranded approximately 69 miles off the coast of Port Canaveral as his sailboat was disabled. The nature of the boat’s malfunction was not immediately noted, but there were no injuries or dangerous situations reported.
The area has been subject to severe storms in recent days, but it was not known if weather was a factor in the sailboat’s operational status.
Carnival Magic picked up the man’s distress call at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, as the cruise ship was en route back to Port Canaveral at the end of its cruise. The crew responded and immediately notified the U.S. Coast Guard.
A MH-60 Jayhawk from the USCG Air Station in Clearwater, Florida was dispatched to rescue the man. The rescue was successfully carried out, and the cruise ship returned to port with no delay to its planned arrival.
Cruise Ship Rescues
The 128,048-gross ton, Dream-class Carnival Magic was finishing a 6-night Eastern Caribbean sailing when the distress call was received. The cruise ship, which is homeported at Port Canaveral, had departed April 3, with ports of call in Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Puerto Plata, and was returning to Port Canaveral at the time.
There has been no delay or change to Carnival Magic‘s operations after the rescue. The ship departed Port Canaveral as scheduled later on April 9, and is now on an 8-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary visiting St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Grand Turk.
Cruise ships regularly respond to distress calls and quickly initiate rescue operations when needed. This may include bringing stranded individuals aboard, notifying other local authorities, or searching rescue areas, depending on the situation.
Under the Safety Of Life At Sea agreements (SOLAS), mariners, no matter what their vessel or status, are required to assist any vessel in distress.
In November 2021, for example, Carnival Ecstasy responded to a distress call from a small yacht off the Bahamas coast and rescued an injured sailor in very windy, dangerous conditions.
This quick action saved the sailor’s life, and was more extraordinary because Carnival Ecstasy had not yet returned to passenger operations. The ship’s captain and crew were recognized for their heroic actions by the Association for Rescue at Sea.
Many other cruise ships from many lines have been involved in similar rescue operations, responding to those in need no matter what the situation.