MSC Meraviglia encounters boat in distress and rescues 24 migrants at sea

   January 17, 2023 ,   Accidents

An MSC Cruises ship bound for Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) encountered a boat in distress on Saturday, January 14th and rescued all 24 occupants at sea.

MSC Meraviglia was sailing from Cozumel (Mexico) back to Florida completing a 7-day "Caribbean and Bahamas" voyage when the liner encountered the migrant boat. The itinerary started on January 8th, and ended on January 15th.

MSC's statement said the crew had notified the USCG and started a rescue operation immediately.

"All 24 of the boat’s occupants (were brought) onboard MSC Meraviglia, where they were checked by medical personnel and provided accommodations until the ship reaches Port Canaveral. The 24 who were rescued disembarked once the ship docked on Sunday morning." 

Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Nicole Groll said that "cruise ships that keep rescued migrants onboard and provide humanitarian care until their next US port of call will transfer them to Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations custody for processing."

MSC Meraviglia is among the world's largest cruise ships, boasting a capacity of 5,642 passengers, and 1,608 crew.

During the past week from January 6th to 13th, Coast Guard cutter crews repatriated 824 Cubans/83 Haitians while patrolling the Florida Straits, Windward and Mona Passes. The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted 13 illegal ventures preventing a total of 239 migrants from landing on United States shores, the agency announced in a press release.

MSC Meraviglia cruise ship

Migrants interdicted at sea were then transferred to Coast Guard cutters and provided humanitarian care including food, water, and basic medical attention.

Migrants without a legal basis to enter the USA are repatriated to their country of origin/departure.

For more MSC Meraviglia incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.