A cruise ship headed for the Bahamas rescued over a dozen migrants over the weekend after passengers saw a makeshift boat struggling in the sea.
The Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas ship successfully onboarded 17 Cuban migrants on Sunday, forgoing one of its planned stops in order to bring the rescued passengers to the U.S. Coast Guard.
“While en route to The Bahamas, Liberty of the Seas encountered a small vessel adrift and in need of assistance,” Royal Caribbean told Fox News in a statement. “The ship’s crew immediately launched a rescue operation, safely bringing 17 people onboard. The crew is actively giving them medical attention, and working with the United States Coast Guard.”
The makeshift boat had reportedly been adrift for days before the passengers were rescued.
The cruise ship was headed for CocoCay in the Bahamas but due to rough conditions in the water, the cruise ship had to dock a day early and forgo the stop.
“Once it’s happening in front of you, it’s really really different. You can see the people showing up, crying on the boat,” cruise passenger Danielle McMahon told WPTV of the rescue. “It’s just a totally different experience seeing their reaction to being rescued. It was insane.”
This is not the first time a Royal Caribbean ship has had to make a rescue in recent months.
In December, the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship, which was also headed for the Bahamas, rescued 22 migrants on a raft between Key West and Cuba.
The Liberty of the Seas sails from Ft. Lauderdale and regularly cruises to the Bahamas.
Carnival was down just over 52% in a one-year period as of Monday afternoon.