Forty-one migrants rescued by cruise ship’s crew

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MIAMI – Forty-one Cuban migrants were rescued by the Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship in the Florida Straits Tuesday evening.

Crewmembers aboard the 855-foot Carnival Ecstasy located the grossly overloaded vessel at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The vessel was unseaworthy, was taking on water, and did not have any life saving or navigation equipment on board. The migrants were pulled to safety by crewmembers aboard the Ecstasy and were transferred to a Coast Guard cutter patrolling in the area.

“These 41 individuals are very lucky to be alive,” said Captain Todd Lutes, Coast Guard Seventh District Chief of Incident Management. “Taking to the sea in an unseaworthy vessel without proper life saving equipment can be a deadly decision. Had it not been for the cruise ship Ecstasy this voyage could have ended in tragedy.”

There were no reports of any injuries following an evaluation by the medical personnel aboard the Ecstasy.

The Coast Guard will seek to return the migrants to their country of origin.

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