Another Carnival cruise ship has rescued refugees from a small boat in distress near Cuba. The incident occurred aboard Carnival Paradise on Sunday afternoon, at approximately 3:30 p.m. ship’s time, while the ship was sailing between Cuba and Mexico on a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise.
The refugees were taken aboard the cruise ship and the proper authorities were contacted.
Cruise Ship Rescues Refugees
The small boat with at least 20 refugees aboard appeared to be a rowboat, and was reported to be drifting at the time it was spotted. The cruise ship slowed and turned to assist the vessel, and brought the individuals aboard.
After attending to the rescue, the ship’s captain announced the incident to passengers onboard. “In accordance with maritime law, we have taken them aboard our vessel and have notified all of the appropriate authorities,” the captain said.
The weather at the time was clear, sunny, and relatively calm, but the small boat was visibly overloaded and assistance was necessary to ensure the safety of those onboard.
After the refugees were brought aboard the cruise ship, the rowboat was left adrift, still with some containers left aboard. The small craft showed dents and damage, obviously in poor condition, even for a calm, clear day.
You can watch some exclusive footage of the rescue below:
The Fantasy-class Carnival Paradise is currently sailing a 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary. The ship left Tampa, Florida on Saturday, July 30, and is enjoying a leisurely day at sea on Sunday.
The vessel is scheduled to visit Roatan, Honduras on Monday, August 1, followed by Cozumel, Mexico, on August 2, and another day at sea before returning to Tampa on Wednesday, August 4.
Cruise ships have been assisting in more and more rescues of refugees from various countries in recent weeks. Just days ago, on July 29, 2022, Carnival Sunrise rescued 12 Cuban refugees adrift south of Key West. Those individuals were turned over to a United States Coast Guard vessel in the vicinity at the time.
Carnival Cruise Line’s flagship, Mardi Gras, has rescued a number of refugees in 2022, including a total of 20 Cuban refugees from two separate incidents in June. Mardi Gras also assisted another refugee boat with fuel and supplies in January, without bringing the individuals onboard.
Carnival Magic, Celebrity Cruise Line’s Celebrity Apex, and Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas have all also affected rescues at sea, either of stranded mariners or refugee craft, in 2022.
This latest rescue is not Carnival Paradise‘s first time rendering assistance to those in need. In May 2019, the ship rescued a sailor from a sinking boat 13 miles north of Cozumel. Mexican authorities assisted in that operation and took the sailors back to shore.
The 71,925-gross-ton Carnival Paradise, which first set sail in 1998, has a guest capacity of 2,124 at double occupancy, and as many as 2,697 passengers may be onboard when the vessel is fully booked and all berths filled.