Cruise ship rescues 6 Cubans from sinking raft

Published: Monday, December 06, 2010, 4:11 PM
Updated: Monday, December 06, 2010, 4:25 PM
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
AMY L. EDWARDS, The Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Florida — The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the status of six people who were pulled from a homemade raft and onto a Royal Caribbean cruise ship near the Bahamas.

On Sunday evening, as Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas was returning from CocoCay, Bahamas, to Cape Canaveral, Fla., someone on board the cruise ship spotted a sinking raft.

Cruise crew members rescued five men and one woman, all of whom were from Cuba, said Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.

Once onboard, the crew gave the six people food, water and medical treatment.

The ship returned to Port Canaveral on Monday morning, where passengers had unique stories to tell about their four-day cruise.

Orlando resident John Wise said he was in his cabin when the ship’s captain announced they had to change course to intercept a raft.

Wise went straight up on one of the top decks.

“The raft was coming very close to the ship at that time,