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Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rescues Eight Cubans On Makeshift Raft

cuba raft

Eight refugees fleeing from Cuba were rescued by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship after they were spotted out at sea just before the sun came up on Sunday morning.

The refugees were floating on a row boat that appeared to be attached to barrels, with backpacks and paddles inside.

They were taken aboard the cruise ship aptly-titled Independence of the Seas until the US Coast Guard arrived and picked them up.

Passenger Mark Sims said that at first others believed the refugees were pirates trying to get on the ship.

There were more than 4,000 passengers and 1,500 crew members on board at the time.

This isn’t the first time a Royal Caribbean ship picked up Cuban refugees.

Just last month Freedom the Seas picked up seven Cubans who had been out in the ocean with only crackers and water for ten days.

The US Coast Guard picked up the passengers and provided aid, according to Yahoo!.

And in 2012 another Royal Caribbean ship picked up 23 refugees as it sailed from Jamaica to Mexico.

independence of the seas
Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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