Video: Cuban rafters row by hand to Carnival cruise ship

The paradisiacal view of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from a cruise ship became an unusual scene of salvation for a group of Cuban rafters who risked their lives fleeing from the nightmare that the Island is experiencing.

A video taken from the Carnival Paradise cruise ship by Brazilian traveler Cintia Zingoni and obtained by el Nuevo Herald, puts the dots on the i’s to the problem of Cuban migration.

In the distance, a precarious, small, improvised boat can be seen, without a bow or keel.

It is moved by oars and by hand —with what appears to be a sail at the stern—, by six people desperate to reach the ship, which covered the Tampa-Cozumel tourist route.

“Oh my God!”, the passengers exclaim in different languages, amazed by the raft that looks like polyfoam in a wooden hull.

“That looks like a tabula, big,” another traveler is heard saying.

The incident happened around 6 pm on Friday, when the cruise ship was headed for Mexico, Zingoni reported.

As the raft approaches the cruise ship, the video becomes more chilling, especially when one of the rafters jumps into the sea to swim to the ship.


Zingoni said that the captain of the cruise ship informed the passengers that the rafters were in good health and that he had informed the relevant authorities of the rescue.

This story was originally published on August 20, 2022 2:06 p.m.

Profile photo of Daniel Shoer Roth

Daniel Shoer Roth is an award-winning author, biographer, journalist, chronicler, and editor with more than 20 years on the staff of el Nuevo Herald, where he has served as a reporter, news columnist, digital growth producer, and coordinator of Acceso Miami. Today he is the Society and Public Service Editor for el Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald.

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