KEY POINTS

  • The boat was sailing in international waters 37 miles off Florida coast
  • It was not known how the vessel came under distress
  • The rescued individuals were quarantined from Carnival Cruise Line ship's crew

A Carnival Cruise Line ship rescued two dozen people, including two children, on Saturday as their boat started to sink off the Florida coast. 

The vessel was sailing in international waters 37 miles off the coast of Palm Beach when it came under distress. The cruise ship, named Carnival Sensation, came alongside the boat and provided those onboard with blankets, life jackets, water, and food, John Heald, director of Carnival Cruise Lines, said in a Facebook post.

When the smaller craft started taking on water, the Carnival Sensation crew made arrangements for passengers to evacuate and board the cruise ship, the post mentioned. It was not immediately known how the boat came under distress.

The passengers of the struggling boat were of various nationalities, according to the social media post. A medical team on the Carnival Sensation evaluated and quarantined the passengers. According to the Miami Herald, the rescued individuals were later transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Carnival Sensation is part of Carnival Cruise Line’s 22-ship fleet, which is currently not in service in the wake of the extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order through Oct. 31. Under the order, cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers were mandated to suspend all passenger operations. The original order was slated to expire Sept. 30.

There were no guests on board the Carnival Sensation when it carried out the rescue operation, Heald said in the Facebook post. 

Carnival Cruise Line, which hoped to resume its operations Nov. 1, announced last week it is canceling all cruises scheduled for November 2020.

"Carnival Cruise Line is currently in a pause in its operations with ships at minimum non-operational manning status with limited crew members and no guests on board," the company said in a statement.

cruise ship A cruise ship is pictured. Photo: AFP/Miguel MEDINA