Saturday, January 20, 2007
Sixteen Cuban refugees picked up at sea by a cruise liner are now in the custody of authorities. The Captain to the Coral Princess cruise ship made a detour at sea to pick up the Cuban refugees that were 28 miles off the coast of Cuba. The Cuban immigrants were picked up at sea from a disabled wooden boat at around 5 p.m. The Coral Princess was en route from Cozumel to Port Everglades when the disabled vessel signaled the Coral Princess.
Coral Princess passenger on the Coral Princess caught the rescue on video. "They were frantically waving their hands in the water, and it took awhile for the rescue teams to get out to them," said Al Charmelo.The Coral Princess notified the U.S. Coast Guard who asked them to pick up the passengers. While onboard, the refugees received food, clothing, a medical assessment and treatment. The Coral Princess said that none of the immigrants were seriously ill. The Coast Guard dispatched one of their vessels to meet the cruise liner. The refugees were transferred to the Coast Guard and the cruise ship continued to the Port Everglades.