Florida cruise ships rescue Cuban boat migrants

NOS eyewitness Karel Van Fleet

NOS News

A total of 24 migrants were rescued by two American cruise ships in the Caribbean yesterday. People were in small boats floating north of Cuba.

The crew of the Celebrity Beyond cruise ship spotted a boat in the distance in the afternoon, at which point the captain decided to turn the massive ship around to save it. in a Instagram video He shows the captain how nineteen Cubans were brought on board and rolls up the blankets.

Karel van Vliet from Waalwijk was on the cruise ship with family members and watched the rescue firsthand.

“That boat was really miserable small,” he tells NOS. “Homemade, without a motor and six oars. The sea was rough with the waves rising, it’s a miracle that even the ship survived. They pulled alongside with great care.”

Van Fleet also made pictures of the boat:

A cruise ship carrying Cuban refugees in the middle of the sea

Van Fleet says the rescue made a huge impression on him and his family. “As a Westerner, you are on a nice boat and see people risking their lives on such a mission.”

I became adrift

The crew of the Carnival Celebration cruise ship, en route to Miami, also saw migrants in distress at sea. Five Cubans were rescued from their floating boat. The US Coast Guard then removed them from the cruise ship and detained them.

The Van Fleet cruise ship arrived today in the port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Van Fleet says he heard from the captain that the 19 rescued immigrants had been turned over to local authorities.

uninhabited archipelago

Because of the bad economic situation in Cuba, many residents are currently trying to come to the United States. A record 220,000 Cubans were arrested at the border crossing with Mexico last year. A small group of others are trying to cross from Cuba to Florida, which is 150 kilometers away.

In recent days, hundreds of Cubans have arrived at the uninhabited group of islands “Dry Tortugas”, the westernmost tip of Florida.

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