The crew on the Fort Lauderdale-bound ship Celebrity Beyond rescued a total of 19 people from a boat and provided them shelter, food, and medical services, the ship’s Captain Kate McCue said in a video posted on Instagram.
In a statement, Celebrity Cruises said they were grateful for their crew’s quick action and the lives saved as a result.
On the same day, crew members from Carnival Celebration noticed 5 people ~29 mi northwest of Cuba and stopped to help them.
The crew reached out to the USCG/Coast Guard and met up with them close to Key West, Florida.
The ship resumed her voyage with an unaffected itinerary. Carnival Celebration returned to PortMiami on Tuesday morning, January 3rd, after a 7-day Caribbean voyage.
The rescues came on Monday - the same day as Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida Keys) announced it would close to the public following an influx of migrant landings over the past days shut down operations at the park there.
In a statement, Rear Adm. Brendan C. McPherson, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District and director of Homeland Security Task Force, said Homeland Security Task Force - Southeast was aware of multiple migrant landings on Dry Tortugas NP and the Marquesas.
"The U.S. Coast Guard and partner federal, state and local components in HSTF-SE are coordinating efforts to recover the individuals currently stranded on the remote, uninhabited islands."
Dry Tortugas is a 100-mi2 park situated 70 mi west of Key West. It comprises 7 small islands and is accessible only by boat/seaplane.