Cruise Ship Migrants: Carnival Rescues 41 Cubans in Florida Straits

By: Jasmine Allen - March 26, 2014

The Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship saved 41 Cuban migrants Tuesday traveling in a cramped raft in the waters of the Florida Straits.

The overloaded vessel was spotted by the captain and was immediately pulled into safety.

One Carnival crew member told CBS 4 News: “There were women and children onboard. There were a lot of them on there for a very small raft.”

The witness also added that the travelers appeared to be in distress.

The migrants were soon transported to a U.S. Coast Guard ship with no reported injuries.

A Coast Guard spokesman said that the fate of the migrants didn’t look too promising and thankfully the Ecstasy was there to save the day.

“This could’ve been a real tragedy,” Gabe Somma reported to Reuters. “There was no lifesaving or navigation equipment and the boat was taking on water.”

Carnival’s spokesperson said that the cruise ship had started their journey from Key West, Florida and was en route to Cozumel, Mexico.

The Ecstasy was already carrying over 2,000 passengers when they decided to add to their vessel’s capacity.

There have been plenty other occasions when a cruise ship has unexpectedly picked up Cuban voyagers.

Many usually look for refuge in Central America, the Caribbean islands, or Florida in an attempt to escape their communist country.

Reuters reported:

A Carnival ship earlier this month plucked 24 migrants from a wooden boat near the Cayman Islands.

Last April, the Carnival Conquest and the Disney Wonder rescued 21 Cuban migrants on stricken boats in two separate incidents in the Florida Straits.

This has been an ongoing episode that really grabbed the attention of the American government in the 1990s.

Tuesday’s refugees will most likely never set foot on U.S. soil.

According to the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy, “Cubans who manage to set foot on U.S. soil may remain in the country while those who are intercepted at sea must be returned to the communist-ruled island.”

 Image via Wikimedia Commons

Jasmine Allen

About the Author

Jasmine AllenJasmine Allen is a passionate freelance writer and multimedia journalist addicted to thrift shopping. Every now and then she enjoys indulging in cotton candy of all flavors! Follow her on Twitter: @ThriftThrive, Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/jasminerallen, IG: roseyjhearts

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  • Tallulah Cusati

    Anyone who helps an ILLEGAL, regardless of where they are from should go to prison, and the ILLEGALS, deported.

  • Tallulah Cusati

    Al those people on that cramped raft knew exactly what they were doing, and should be sent back to Cuba.

    • MightyCash Gerente

      ..aaand I think they are, because of the CUBA’s exception law, namely “Wet Feet Dry Feet”, where it IS required for an illegal Cuban to physically step foot onto US territory for them to be allowed exemption status and be allowed to remain here. But, these Cubans got intercepted in the middle of the ocean, therefore they are going to get deported back to Cuba (where they will most likely face either the death penalty, jail for life or torture by their dictator for trying to escape from him).

      • Tallulah Cusati

        I doubt that still happens. They were trying to get some place, like the U.S., where everything would be given to them,and paid for, by American tax payers.

  • yahoo

    these cubans are the origanal wetbacks who choose to be called boat people whatever they call themselves there sneaking in the back door they took over miami without firing a shot. ask rubio thats how he got here.

  • MRS. G.D.B.

    We should have COMPASSION for others. We are United States citizens. We are not exposed to the same conditions they may be confronted with daily. I was on the Ectasy cruise ship when the incident occured. We never made it to our original destination however 41 human lives were saved. Cozemel will be there for years to come. RESPECTFULLY, MRS. G.D.B.