Ship part

Mardi Gras cruise ship rescues 16 people stranded at sea, Carnival says

(CNN) — While cruising in the waters off Cuba on Friday morning, crew members of the Mardi Gras cruise ship spotted what must have been a chilling sight: a small vessel in rough seas buffeted by a tropical weather system.

The crew saw the ship in distress just before 8 a.m., Carnival Cruise Line said in a news blog. Mardi Gras halted its leisure trip to help, picking up 16 stranded people.

Mardi Gras is on its last day of a seven-day trip, Carnival said, and is expected to return to its homeport of Port Canaveral, Fla., Saturday morning.

Carnival said the US Coast Guard and “all other appropriate authorities” have been notified.

This is a photo of the stricken vessel rescued by crew members from Mardi Gras, a ship operated by Carnival Cruise Lines.

Carnival Cruise Line

Tropical Storm Alex expected

The distressed vessel was in a precarious position with respect to location and weather conditions.

A broad band of showers and thunderstorms over Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula could develop into Tropical Storm Alex or a tropical depression, the National Hurricane Center said Friday. The system is expected to hit Florida on Saturday.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect Friday for more than 10 million people in the southern half of Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas.

CNN Travel has contacted Carnival Cruise Lines and the US Coast Guard for more details on the rescue and will update this story as it becomes available.