Cruise ship rescues 16 Cuban migrants near Cozumel

COZUMEL, Q. Roo — A cruise ship carrying stars of Pittsburgh sports rescued 16 Cuban migrants on a makeshift raft in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Carnival Sensation, owned by Carnival Cruise Line, had been billed as the Legends of Pittsburgh Cruise as it set sail from Miami on Thursday Feb. 25.

The four-day cruise was sailing from Key West to Cozumel, Mexico, when the crew spotted a “vessel in distress” around 50 miles off the Cuba coast (more than vessel it looked like a makeshift raft).

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison took photos of the rescue and posted them to his Instagram account after the migrants were brought on board.

Cruise Ship Rescues 16 Cuban Migrants In Gulf of Mexico (Photo: Instagram)
Cruise Ship Rescues 16 Cuban Migrants In Gulf of Mexico (Photo: Instagram)

He wrote: “We just stopped for this boat with 16 people in the middle of the ocean. Waiting for coast guard now.”

Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz confirmed the rescue.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios stated that the migrants were turned over to Mexican immigration officials in Cozumel, Quintana Roo.

Among those thought to be on board the cruise liner were former Steelers running back Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen and Pittsburgh Penguins centre Bryan Trottier.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison photographed the moment the 16 migrants were rescued from a makeshift raft and posted the image on his Instagram profile (Photo: Instagram).