On the day after Mexico when we were heading back to Fort Lauterdale, a few guests started reporting that there was a small raft out in the water with people in it trying to wave down the ship.
The cruise sent out a rescue boat, and it turns out they were refugees from Cuba. Apparently, they were trying to make their way from Cuba to the US in this tiny little boat they made. There was no motor just a few oars. They got turned around some how and had been lost at sea for eight days! There were nine of them total in the small boat – eight men and one woman.
The rescue boat loaded them up and brought them onboard the Allure. They let them get cleaned up, fed them, and had them checked out by the medical staff. Once they had determined they were all in decent health, they called the Coast Guard and they came a little later and picked them up.
By the time I got over to the side where all of this was happening, they already had them on the rescue boat and were headed back to the ship. This is a picture of the tine boat that they had been traveling in.
It was pretty neat to watch it all go down. The staff would make announcements over the intercom letting us know what was going on and when they determined they were all OK. It’s sad to think that these people’s lives were so bad that they were willing to risk setting out on the open seas in such a tiny boat with oars in hopes of finding a better life. I’m glad we were able to help them some, and I pray that everything works out for them.