Carnival Cruise Ship Helps Coast Guard Rescue Nearly Two Dozen Cubans Adrift at Sea

The harrowing journey began a week ago when 22 people boarded a wooden boat in Cuba, headed for Mexico

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A Carnival cruise ship helped the U.S. Coast Guard rescue almost two dozen Cubans who had been adrift at sea for a week in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said Monday.

After a Coast Guard aircrew spotted the stranded Cubans at about 8:40 a.m. Sunday about 130 miles off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, it radioed for any nearby help, officials said and NBC News reported.

The Carnival Fantasy — while en route from Cozumel to Mobile, Alabama — heard the Coast Guard's distress call and raced to meet the 23 people stuck on a sports fishing vessel at about 10:47 a.m., according to a company statement.

The harrowing journey began a week ago when 22 people boarded a wooden boat in Cuba, headed for Mexico, when its engines lost power and became adrift at sea for three days, the Coast Guard said. Those original 22 travelers were picked up by a Cuban-Mexican national in his sports fishing vessel before that craft also lost power, and was adrift at sea for another three days, according to the Coast Guard.

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