NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Coast Guard and the crew of the cruise ship Carnival Fantasy rescued 23 people from a disabled boat Sunday 130 nautical miles off the Yucatan Peninsula, according to a Coast Guard news release.
The Eighth Coast Guard District Command Center in New Orleans and Seventh Coast Guard District Command Center in Miami received a report at 1:15 a.m. from a Cuban national who said his brother and 22 other people were adrift aboard a disabled sports fisher. It was reported that 22 Cuban nationals had started a voyage from Cuba to Mexico on a wooden boat when it lost power, setting them adrift for three days. They were spotted by a Cuban-Mexican citizen, who took all 22 aboard his sports fisher. When that boat’s engine failed, the 23 people became adrift for three more days.
Watchstanders alerted the cruise ship Carnival Fantasy, which was returning to Mobile, Ala., and directed the launch of a Coast Guard search plane. The plane’s crew didn’t find anyone and returned to base.
Another plane was launched to search a third location, and the disabled boat and passengers were found at 8:40 a.m.
The Carnival Fantasy arrived on scene at and brought the individuals on board at 10:47 a.m. Two individuals had minor medical issues that were treated by the cruise ship’s medical staff.
The 23 individuals will be transferred to Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard Investigative Services in Mobile on Tuesday.