The distressed boaters had been clinging to floating debris for more than an hour when crew members of the Discovery Sun pulled the two women and four men onboard, said Samantha Poole, the cruise ship’s Hotel Director. The rescued boaters were not wearing life vests, she added.
The boaters were of Jamaican, Haitian and Cuban decent, Poole said. They included two women aged 25 and 38, as well as four men aged 24, 31, 40, and 45.
The Coast Guard could not confirm the identity of the passengers or the circumstances surrounding their rescue Monday night, Elgammal said, because its investigation was still open.
It was allegedly a human smuggling operation but has been reported that the group was “fishing”.