The Miami Herald reports that Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas stopped to pick up nine Cubans (eight men and one woman) as the cruise ship sailed back to Fort Lauderdale around 2 p.m. today.
The newspaper indicates that the migrants had been at sea for eight days. The cruise ship personnel provided food, water and medical attention to the Cubans. The narration to the video mentions that the immigrants were using "brooms" to paddle, but you can clearly see from photos posted on the Cruise Critic site that they were using long paddles.
Although you can hear the cheers on the video when the migrants were rescued, the story does not end happily for the Cubans. The U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security will undoubtedly deport then back to Cuba where they run the risk of ending up in one of Castro's jails.
In this video, you can see the rescue vessel taking the Cubans out to a Coast Guard cutter which arrives on the scene.
This is not the first time a Royal Caribbean cruise ship "rescued" Cuban immigrants. On May 1st, the Navigator of the Seas picked up eight Cubans 40 miles north of Cuba. You can see the dramatic photos here.
Last December, the Monarch of the Seas picked up six Cubans who had been at sea for 15 days in a raft consisting of a bunch of tires tied together with a makeshift sail. If they made it ashore to the U.S. they could remain here; however, if they are "caught" in the water by the U.S. Coast Guard, they will be deported. You can read about that ordeal in Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Immigrants.
Video credit: Hinch family via Miami Herald / CBS Channel 4 (Miami)