Cruise ships rescue more migrants off the coast of Florida

The crew of two cruise ships rescued about twenty migrants who were traveling in small boats, in what constitutes the most recent episode of the hundreds that have disembarked or tried to disembark in the Florida Keys in recent days, authorities reported.

Crew members of the Celebrity Beyond cruise ship rescued 19 migrants from a crowded boat Monday, and the crew of the Carnival Celebration rescued five others in danger on a small boat about 29 miles (46 kilometers) northwest of Cuba.

Once the second group of migrants was rescued from their drifting boat, the Carnival Celebration crew members contacted the US Coast Guard, who took them into custody offshore, company spokesman Matt Lupoli said. Carnival Cruise Line cruise ship.

“The ship resumed her voyage with no changes to her scheduled itinerary and Carnival Celebration returned to Miami Tuesday morning after a week-long Caribbean cruise,” Lupoli said in an email.

Kate McCue, captain of the Celebrity Beyond, posted video of the rescue Monday on social media. In the footage she said she turned the ship around after her commanding officer noticed a flash on the horizon, which turned out to be the migrants.

Once the migrants were on board the ship, crew members provided them with blankets, a change of clothing and food, and conducted a medical evaluation, it added. He then contacted the Coast Guard.

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

Celebrity Cruises issued a statement Tuesday thanking the crew members.

“We are grateful for the quick action by our crew, and for the lives that were saved as a result of it,” the company said.

The rescues came amid a wave of immigrant landings in the Florida Keys in recent days that the local sheriff’s office has called a “crisis.”

Over the weekend, about 300 migrants arrived in the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Key West. The park was closed so that police and medical personnel could evaluate them before moving them to Key West, also known locally in Spanish as 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 people in two new groups of migrants were found in the area known as the Middle Keys.

“This shows the lack of a work plan on the part of the federal government to deal with a mass migration problem that was foreseeable,” Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a news release Monday.

Crews from the US Border Patrol and Coast Guard patrolling South Florida and the Keys have been experiencing the largest escalation of migrants by sea in nearly a decade, with hundreds of interceptions in recent months. Most of the migrants, who come from Cuba and Haiti, are fleeing the economic crisis, food shortages and high inflation.

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