The crew of two cruise ships sprung into action Monday to rescue two groups of migrants who were in distress off the Florida coast.
Kate McCue, Captain of the Celebrity Cruise Ship ‘Beyond,’ documented the rescue of 19 migrants on her Instagram page. After noticing a “glimmer” on the horizon, the crew investigated, finding themselves rapidly approaching a small boat filled with 19 people that appeared to be in distress, she explained on the video. McCue then safely navigated the ship alongside the migrants so that they could be brought onboard where they were given food, water and a change of clothes.
McCue further detailed that the 19 migrants were permitted to call loved ones before they were turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard.
RESCUES AT SEA: The crews of Carnival and Celebrity cruise ships each took part in rescues of Cuban migrants stranded off the South Florida coast Monday. https://t.co/KUHicGDiWw
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) January 3, 2023
Another cruise ship, the Carnival ‘Celebration,’ similarly rescued a raft full of migrants it encountered on its way back to Miami.
“They announced over the ship that there was a raft in the water with five immigrants on it and we stopped and they did a little donut in the water and picked them up and then the Coast Guard came and got them,” Celebration passenger Olivia O’Brien told Local 10 News. “It was pretty cool to see.” (RELATED: ‘Failure’: Sheriff Slams Federal Response After Nearly 500 Illegal Immigrants Arrive In Florida Keys)
After rescuing the five migrants about 25 nautical miles northwest of Cuba, Carnival coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard who later took them into custody, Carnival spokesperson Matt Lupoli explained to Local 10 News.
Under maritime law, cruise ships are required to assist those in distress at sea, the outlet reported.