Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cubans Adrift At Sea Picked Up By Cruise Ship

A boatload of Cubans seeking freedom in the U.S. were picked up by a cruise ship before being turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard for a likely return trip to Cuba. The Carnival cruise ship Valor picked up a group of Cubans who were in a small, broken down boat that was adrift between Cuba and the Florida Keys. As the massive cruise ship inched closer, it was apparent that 11 people were aboard the small vessel, witnesses said. Passengers were mistaken if they thought liberty was at hand for the Cubans, because any foreigner, Cuban or otherwise, is returned to his or her country of origin when rescued at sea.The Cubans boarded the cruise ship and it became clear, even to passengers aboard the ship peering down at them, how scant their supplies were, witnesses said. "We imagine that the captain at the bridge spotted them and they were probably waving . . . because that's what they were doing when we first spotted them," said Barbara Menendez, a cruise ship passenger. "So I think that they got very lucky that the cruise ship was able to spot them and was able to rescue them."
Cruise ships, and any ships, have an obligation to pick up any stranded boaters at sea. On Monday afternoon, the 11 Cubans remained on board a Coast Guard vessel, still out at sea. The Cubans will be interviewed and likely returned to Cuba.

blog counter