Cruise ship stops to help Cuban migrants, reports encounter to Coast Guard, witness says

A witness shared this photo of Cuban migrants at sea on Friday. (Courtesy photo)

MIAMI – A witness who was aboard the Carnival Celebration, which is scheduled to return to PortMiami Sunday, reported the ship stopped to help a group of migrants at sea Friday.

The group of migrants was onboard a small raft and told crew members that they did not want to be rescued, but welcomed food and water, according to the witness who shared videos.

The captain of the ship alerted the U.S. Coast Guard Key West about the ship’s encounter with the boaters, according to the witness who asked to remain anonymous.

The witness said the encounter with the eight migrants in a wooden sailboat was after the cruise ship departed from a port in Honduras and was west of Cuba.

A spokesperson with Carnival Cruise Line released a statement on Friday night confirming the witnesses’ account, but not the notification to the U.S. Coast Guard.

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About the Authors:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.