Ocean rescue video captured by cruise ship passenger

MIAMI, Fla. -- A First Coast News viewer captured cell phone video of two men being rescued from the ocean near South Florida.

Scott Sennes of Jacksonville was vacationing on Carnival Cruise Lines ship Victory when two men on what appeared to be a foam raft were spotted floating in the ocean.

Crews from the Victory deployed a smaller boat and rescued the men as cruise ship passengers cheered from the balcony.

Both men were brought on board the ship which is based out of Miami and carries 2,754 passengers. It is unknown if the men were injured or how long they were floating before being rescued.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Sabrina Laberdesque said the raft was south of Key West. She said Carnival Cruise Lines notified the Coast Guard about the raft. Laberdesque said the incident is part of an ongoing investigation because the people on the raft may be migrants. However, the Coast Guard cannot confirm they are migrants at this time.

Carnival Victory released this official statement Monday morning:

"Last evening, while Carnival Victory was en route from Cozumel to its homeport of Miami, shipboard personnel observed a small craft in distress. Carnival Victory deviated course to render assistance to the small craft. Two Cuban nationals were brought on board, evaluated by the ship's medical staff and provided with food and water.

The United States Coast Guard was notified as per standard protocol and the two individuals were transferred to a U.S.C.G. cutter off the coast of Key West, Fla., last evening. Carnival Victory proceeded to PortMiami where it arrived this morning as scheduled.

Carnival Victory was sailing on a four-day cruise from PortMiami, part of its year-round four- and five-day schedule from that port. The ship will depart on a five-day cruise from PortMiami later this afternoon."


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