2 cruise ships rescue more migrants off Florida coast

Miami –

Crew members on two cruise ships rescued about two dozen migrants in small boats, the latest episode of hundreds making or attempting to make landfall in the Florida Keys over the past few days. authorities said.

Crew members on board the Celebrity Beyond rescued 19 migrants from a crowded boat on Monday, and Carnival Celebration crew members found five in distress on a small boat about 29 miles (46 miles) from Cuba. km) to the northwest.

After the migrants were rescued from their drifting boat, Carnival Cruise Line crew members contacted the Coast Guard, said Matt Lupoli, a spokesman for Carnival Cruise Line. United States, this force arrested them off the coast.

Lupoli said in an email: “The ship has resumed its scheduled voyage unaffected and the Carnival Celebration returned to Miami on Tuesday morning after a week-long cruise. in the Caribbean”.

Captain Kate McCue, captain of Celebrity Beyond, posted a video of Monday’s rescue on social media. In the video, she says she turned the ship around after her captain noticed a glimmer of light on the horizon that turned out to be migrants.

She said that after the migrants boarded the ship, the crew provided them with blankets, change of clothes, food and medical examinations. Coast Guard has been contacted.

“Thank you to all the crew who made this rescue possible,” McCue wrote.

Celebrity Cruises released a statement on Tuesday to thank crew members.

“We are grateful for the swift action of the crew and as a result many lives have been saved,” the company said.

The rescues come amid an influx of migrants into the Florida Keys over the past few days in what the local sheriff’s office has called a “crisis”.

Over the weekend, 300 migrants arrived at the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West. The park was closed so law enforcement and medical staff could assess the group before moving them to Key West.

Separately, 160 migrants arrived by boat in other parts of the Florida Keys over New Year’s weekend, and on Monday, about 30 of two new groups of migrants were found in the Middle Keys.

“This shows the federal government’s lack of a plan to work to address the foreseeable mass migration,” Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said Monday in a press release.

U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol teams patrolling South Florida and the Keys experienced the largest escalation of boat migration in nearly a decade, with hundreds of arrests in recent months. Most of the migrants are from Cuba and Haiti and are escaping economic turmoil, food shortages and soaring inflation.

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