Ship boat

Carnival cruise ship saves refugees from overloaded boat

Another Carnival cruise ship rescued refugees from a small boat in distress near Cuba. The incident occurred on board Carnival Paradise Sunday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. ship time as the ship sailed between Cuba and Mexico for a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise.

The refugees were taken on board the cruise ship and the relevant authorities were contacted.

Cruise ship saves refugees

The small boat with at least 20 refugees on board appeared to be a rowboat and was believed to have been adrift when spotted. The cruise ship slowed down and turned around to help the vessel and bring the individuals back on board.

After witnessing the rescue, the ship’s captain announced the incident to the passengers on board. “In accordance with maritime law, we boarded them on board our ship and notified all the competent authorities”, said the captain.

Photo credit: Kyle Lee/Shutterstock

The weather was then clear, sunny and relatively calm, but the small craft was visibly overloaded and assistance was needed to ensure the safety of those on board.

After the refugees were brought aboard the cruise ship, the rowboat was left adrift, with some containers still on board. The small craft had dents and damage, obviously in poor condition, even on a calm, clear day.

You can watch exclusive footage from the rescue below:

The Fantasy class Carnival Paradise currently sailing a 5 night itinerary in the Western Caribbean. The ship left Tampa, Florida on Saturday, July 30, and is enjoying a quiet day at sea on Sunday.

The ship must 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.

Frequent rescues

Cruise ships have been involved in more and more refugee rescues from various countries in recent weeks. Just a few days ago, July 29, 2022, Carnival Sunrise rescued 12 Cuban refugees adrift south of Key West. These people were handed over to a nearby US Coast Guard vessel at the time.

Carnival Cruise Line’s flagship Mardi Grasrescued a number of refugees in 2022, including a total of 20 Cuban refugees from two separate incidents in June. Mardi Gras too helped another refugee boat with fuel and supplies in Januarywithout embarking individuals.

Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship
Photo credit: Melissa Mayntz

Carnival MagicCelebrity Cruise Line Celebrity Summitand Royal Caribbean International Allure of the Seas all also affected rescues at sea, either of stranded sailors or refugee boats, in 2022.

This latest rescue is not Carnival paradisefor the first time helping people in need. In May 2019, the ship rescued a sailor from a sinking boat 21 km north of Cozumel. The Mexican authorities participated in this operation and brought the sailors ashore.

The 71,925 gross tons Carnival paradisewhich first set sail in 1998, has a capacity of 2,124 passengers based on double occupancy, and up to 2,697 passengers can be on board when the ship is full and all berths are occupied.

Rescue of the Carnival cruise ship