Carnival Cruise Line’s flagship, the award-winning Mardi Gras, has once again assisted with a seagoing rescue, this time bringing aboard four individuals from a small rowboat.
The rescue happened on June 30, 2022, while the ship was en route from Honduras on the way back to her homeport in Florida.
Mardi Gras Rescues Rowboat
The incident happened in the afternoon of Thursday, June 30, as the ship was enjoying a Fun Day at Sea while proceeding back toward Port Canaveral.
The cruise ship encountered the small rowboat, which was signaling distress, and stopped nearby to assist. The four adult occupants of the rowboat came alongside the ship and were tossed a rope to bring them in closer to the vessel.
Mardi Gras‘ cruise director, Lee Mason, kept guests apprised of the rescue in progress, noting that all four individuals were safely brought aboard.
The rowboat, which appeared older but in moderate condition, was left adrift and not recovered, though it is likely at least some of the possessions visible in the boat were also brought aboard.
As is standard procedure in these types of rescues, the rescued individuals will receive medical care, food, water, and lodging, while the cruise ship contacts the proper authorities to determine what will be done with them upon arriving in the United States.
At this time, Mardi Gras is continuing back toward Port Canaveral. The ship is currently sailing a 7-night, roundtrip Western Caribbean itinerary, featuring ports of call in Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico, as well as Roatan Island, Honduras. The call in Honduras on Wednesday, June 29 was the last stop of the voyage, with two days at sea before the vessel arrives back at Port Canaveral on July 2.
There are no delays reported, and Mardi Gras is expected to arrive on schedule for debarkation in Florida on Saturday. At that time, the rescued individuals will be transferred to the appropriate authorities for further action as necessary.
Multiple Rescues in Less than a Year
Mardi Gras is Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, having debuted on her inaugural sailing 11 months ago, on July 31, 2021. The ship is no longer new to at-sea rescues, however, and has helped several stranded vessels and a number of refugees in her first year at sea.
On that very first voyage, on August 2, 2021 after just two days of sailing, Mardi Gras encountered an almost fully submerged vessel, and immediately commenced search operations for any refugees or survivors of the wreck. None were located, and the ship reported the new wreck so other mariners would be aware of its location.
In late January 2022, the Carnival flagship responded to a stranded motorboat between Cuba and Mexico, and while the refugees were not brought on board the cruise ship – which is not required – Mardi Gras did supply the smaller boat with additional fuel and supplies to safely continue on its way.
On June 3, 2022, Mardi Gras rescued 16 individuals from another small boat near Cuba, this time bringing the refugees aboard due to rough weather and increased risk if they had remained on their small craft.
Cruise Hive applauds the dedication of Mardi Gras‘ officers and crew to the safety of all those in peril on the sea, and wishes the vessel much success with future rescue and assistance operations.