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Carnival Ecstasy pulls 41 Cuban migrants to safety

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm •  Published: March 26, 2014
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MIAMI (AP) — A cruise ship came to the rescue of dozens of Cuban migrants on an overloaded vessel that was taking on water in the Florida Straits.

The Coast Guard says the Carnival Ecstasy spotted the migrants' vessel Tuesday evening. Officials say the small boat wasn't seaworthy and lacked lifejackets and navigation equipment.

Ecstasy crewmembers pulled 41 migrants to safety. The migrants later were transferred to a Coast Guard vessel patrolling the area.

Coast Guard Capt. Todd Lutes says the migrants' voyage could have ended in tragedy if it wasn't for the Ecstasy.

Officials say the migrants likely will be returned to Cuba. Cubans who make it to U.S. shores generally are allowed to stay under the so-called "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy. Cubans stopped at sea usually are returned home.