Cruise Ship Rescues 23 Adrift for Days in Gulf of Mexico

22 left Cuba in a wooden boat
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 15, 2019 12:32 AM CDT
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A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew takes a photo of a disabled vessel that the aircrew located 130 nautical miles off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, April 14, 2019.   (Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

(Newser) – The US Coast Guard says it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico. A Coast Guard statement issued Sunday says 22 Cubans started traveling on a wooden boat from Cuba to Mexico before losing power and drifting three days. A Cuban-Mexican man took them aboard his sports fishing boat, but then its engines malfunctioned and the group drifted three more days. The Coast Guard says it was contacted early Sunday by a brother of one of the Cubans. In addition to launching its own effort to find the disabled fishing boat, the Coast Guard alerted the Carnival Fantasy, the AP reports.

The cruise ship took the 23 people aboard within hours, about 130 nautical miles off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The Coast Guard statement said two of the people rescued had minor medical issues and were treated by medical staff on the cruise ship. It added that the 23 people would be transferred Tuesday to US Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard Investigative Services in Mobile, Ala. (In 2017, then-President Obama ended the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed any Cuban who made it to the US to become a legal resident.)


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