Cruise ship rescues 10 Cubans in tiny boat

Nov. 29, 2005 at 11:40 AM
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MIAMI, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A Celebrity Cruises ship rescued 10 Cubans from a 15-foot boat foundering within sight of Cuba, but the refugees' freedom may be brief, a report said.

Seven men, two women and a 7-year-old girl were plucked Sunday from the Florida Straits by the crew of the cruise ship Zenith, which had set sail Thanksgiving Day from Miami.

"You could see real desperation," passenger Steve Wright told The Miami Herald of the group he spotted through his camera lens. Wright said he alerted the Zenith's crew, which turned back to rescue the Cubans.

In her brief time aboard the cruise ship, the 7-year-old, known only as Jennifer, won the hearts of passengers, the newspaper reported.

The Cubans turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard late Sunday likely will be returned to Cuba under the United States' so-called "dry-foot, wet-foot" policy -- only those Cubans that reach land are automatically allowed to remain in the United States.

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