Heroic High Seas: Carnival Cruise Ship Rescues 27 Refugees Near Cuba

In an act of extraordinary heroism, the Carnival Paradise cruise ship rescued 27 Cuban nationals from a perilous situation at sea on April 21, 2024. The rescue operation took place west of Cuba during a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise, as the ship was en route to Roatan, Honduras.

The ship’s vigilant bridge crew noticed a small boat in distress around 2:30 p.m. The vessel, a makeshift wooden boat equipped with a non-functional sail, was alarmingly overcrowded and lacked sufficient supplies for its passengers.

The Carnival Paradise quickly altered course to aid the struggling individuals, who were found roughly 20 miles southeast of Los Cajuelos, Cuba’s westernmost point.

Carnival paradise rescues 27 refugees near Cuba
Source: Carnival Cruise Line

Upon successful rescue, all individuals were brought onboard the Carnival Paradise and were provided with essential care, including food, water, and medical attention.

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West and authorities in Roatan were promptly notified to coordinate further assistance and ensure the refugees were handled according to standard procedures.

Despite the unexpected diversion, the ship’s schedule remains unaffected. Given that the day of the rescue was a planned day at sea, the ship can adjust its speed to make up for any lost time, thereby ensuring a timely arrival in Roatan.

This incident marks another commendable rescue by the Carnival Paradise, which has a notable history of lifesaving efforts.

Previously, the ship has been involved in several other rescues, including the aid of a sailor in 2019 and two refugee rescues in 2022, all near Cuban waters.

These actions underscore the ship’s ongoing commitment to maritime safety and its readiness to respond to emergencies at sea.

The Carnival Paradise, one of the older ships in the Carnival fleet, continues to operate out of Tampa, Florida. It offers various Caribbean itineraries, including future visits to the soon-to-open Celebration Key in the Bahamas, demonstrating its enduring appeal and operational excellence.

As the Carnival Paradise continues its journey, passengers not only enjoy a serene voyage but also a sense of pride in the ship’s steadfast dedication to upholding the safety and dignity of human life at sea.

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