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Migrant rafters rescued by 2 cruise ships


12:19 PM April 13th, 2013

April 13th, 2013 12:19 PM

This Feb. 14, 2013 file photo shows the disabled Carnival Lines cruise ship Triumph being towed to harbor off Mobile Bay, Ala. Carnival Cruise Lines prices have taken a dip this spring, according to pricing data, and some industry observers are blaming headlines over problems on several Carnival ships. The fares on this trip and some others began to sink following headlines about an engine fire that knocked out power on the Carnival Triumph in mid-February. Passengers endured filthy conditions as the trip was towed to Mobile, Ala., resurrecting stories of a similar incident from 2010 aboard the Carnival Splendor. AP

MIAMI— Two cruise ships have rescued migrant rafters off the Florida Keys.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said that the Disney Wonder and the Carnival Conquest both spotted “rustic vessels” in separate incidents Friday afternoon.

According to a Carnival statement, the Conquest picked up 13 Cuban nationals about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Key West. The ship was expected to rendezvous with a Coast Guard cutter near Key West to transfer them.

A Disney statement says the Wonder picked up eight people about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from Key West, but their nationality wasn’t immediately known. The company was working with the Coast Guard to determine its next steps.

Crews on both ships provided their new passengers with food, water and medical attention. No injuries or deaths were reported.

It wasn’t immediately known what would be done with the migrants, but Barney said undocumented, non-U.S. citizens heading toward American waters are usually repatriated to their home countries.

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