- Posted April 9, 2012 by
Cary, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Cuban Refugee Rescue in Shark infested Sea
- davidw, CNN iReport producer
These pictures were captured from our stateroom upon the Royal Caribbean "Oasis of the Seas" Wednesday, April 4. To see the desperation and risks some are willing to take is a true reminder of how lucky we are to have our freedoms. There were 24 refugees floating aimlessly as their rigged engine had died and they were out of food and water. These refugees were hoping to reach Honduras.
Brings up the question of for every one of these boats "lucky" enough to be saved, how many are never rescued or recovered? As I watch the sharks swarming beneath the makeshift vessel, I shudder to think of what becomes of many of these forgotten men, women, and children that make the unimaginable decision to set off on this perilous journey. Who would believe that taking this risk is better than what exists in their daily lives?
My understanding is these refugees had been at sea for 21 days and were released to Mexican authorities on our next port-of-call in Cozumel, Mexico. Just thankful they were brought on board to, at least, temporary safety.
UPDATE from gladiator43 18-APR-2012:
Addressing an inquiry regarding US knowledge of event and current status of refugees in this case, A US State Department Public Affairs representative issued the following response:
"Per international law of the sea, commercial or private vessels that rescue persons at sea are to take them to the nearest safe haven, which may often be the next port of call. When the rescued people disembark, they become the responsibility of the receiving national government. In this case, the Cuban migrants became the responsibility of the Mexican government. We [US State Department] do not have any additional information on current whereabouts. The U.S. Coast Guard advises that they often respond to calls from commercial vessels or “good Samaritans” and either directly rescue or take on persons rescued in the Caribbean. They did not get a call in this case."