A P&O Cruises ship sailing in the Mediterranean rescued 20 migrants from an inflatable dinghy Wednesday.
According to The Sun, P&O Cruises’ MS Azura was en route from Cadiz to Barcelona with around 3,000 passengers on board the three-day voyage when crew members spotted the small vessel stranded in the water.
As the Azura got closer to the men, most of whom were in their late teens and early 20s, the employees working on the ship heard desperate screams for help. P&O Cruises officials decided to pause the voyage and sent a lifeboat to save the stranded sailors.
One of the passengers on the ship, 73-year-old Dorothy Hallet, said the efforts from the cruise line resulted in a “great humanitarian operation.”
“On rushing towards the balcony, it was clear to see that in the water was an inflatable and overloaded dinghy,” Hallet told The Sun. “The officers on the bridge were aware of the situation, but it takes some considerable time to stop a large ship and then circle it around to find the small craft again. The captain did an excellent job of maneuvering the vessel.”
Rescuing all of the migrants from the water and bring them onboard the Azura took two hours, which resulted in a total delay of 10 hours. The ship also had to alter its itinerary to drop the migrants off at the port of Almeria.
While most passengers were thankful the cruise line stopped to rescue the migrants from the deadly situation, reports claim there was a vocal portion of the passengers who were angry the rescue efforts cut into their vacation.
“The Azura responded to a distress call earlier today whilst en route from Cadiz to Barcelona,” a P&O Cruises spokesperson told The Sun. “The passengers were medically checked on board Azura and then transferred to the Spanish authorities.”
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