Coast Guard: 23 adrift for days rescued in Gulf of Mexico

Elias Hubbard
April 15, 2019

The U.S. Coast Guard says it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico. The journey for 22 of the passengers, who were Cuban citizens, started while on a wooden boat traveling from Cuba to Mexico.

"We were expecting a larger ship, that's where your mind first goes, but to see that small of a boat in open water like that, with that many people on it was just something we were not expecting", Marty Fillingim told WKRG.

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. After their boat lost power, they drifted for three days. So the 22 people out of 23 were adrift for a total of six days between the two different vessels. In addition to launching its own effort to find the disabled fishing boat, the Coast Guard alerted the Carnival Fantasy.

A Coast Guard aircrew was sent out to search for the boat and returned to base after finding no signs of distress early Sunday, according to the release.

The Carnival Cruise ship was directed to that location and arrived at the scene at 10:47 AM on Sunday. A rescue operation was launched by the cruise ship's crew, and all 23 individuals were brought aboard - two of the people needed to be treated by the medical staff for minor issues.

The 23 individuals will be transferred to Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard Investigative Services in Mobile on Tuesday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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