MIAMI – Passengers on a cruise ship headed back to Miami witnessed the rescue of 12 men, believed to be Cuban migrants, stranded on a small boat in the Straits of Florida Friday evening.
A crew from the Carnival Sunrise helped the stranded men on board as their boat drifted south of Key West, both the cruise line and the U.S. Coast Guard confirm.
According to CruiseMapper, the Sunrise was returning to Miami from Grand Cayman as part of a five-day voyage.
Video sent by a Local 10 News viewer from around 7:30 p.m. shows the moments before the rescue.
A @WPLGLocal10 viewer cruising on the @CarnivalCruise Sunrise sent us this video from the ship as it came to the aid of 12 men stranded in a small boat south of Key West yesterday. The men, believed to be Cuban migrants, were later turned over to @USCGSoutheast. pic.twitter.com/2Rd0Uh7wID— Chris Gothner (@Chris_Gothner) July 30, 2022
As the cruise ship towers over the tiny boat, the migrants are seen waving at the ship as passengers watch from their balconies.
A Carnival spokesperson said after its crew contacted the Coast Guard, the Sunrise rendezvoused with the USCG Cutter Dauntless overnight and transferred the men aboard.
There’s no word as of Saturday morning on their conditions.
Federal agencies are dealing with a massive increase in migration from Cuba. The Coast Guard says crews have intercepted more than 3,400 Cuban migrants since Oct. 1, 2021.