World’s largest cruise ship becomes rescue vessel as it saves 14 people stranded at sea

They'd been stranded at sea for eight days.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship
  • Earlier this month, the cruise ship rescued 14 individuals stranded at sea
  • Apparently, the 14 people were stranded onboard a tiny vessel for eight days before being rescued

Published on Mar 13, 2024 at 5:09PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 13, 2024 at 9:18PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

The Icon of the Seas isn’t only the world’s largest cruise ship.

Earlier this month it proved it’s much more than that.

The cruise ship turned rescue vessel, saved 14 people who were stranded at sea.

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Per reports, 14 people were clinging to a small boat adrift in the Gulf of Mexico when they were rescued by the world’s largest cruise ship earlier this month.

Operated by the Royal Caribbean Group, the Icon of the Seas encountered the small vessel in distress and “immediately launched a rescue operation, safely bringing 14 people on board,” the company states.

“The crew provided them with medical attention, and is working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard,” Royal Caribbean added.

The world’s largest cruise ship was on its first full day of sailing when it spotted the small boat.

The cruise began in Miami and was headed towards Honduras when the rescue took place.

Alessandra Amodio, a passenger onboard the cruise, described to Fox Weather what she witnessed of the dramatic rescue.

According to Amodio, she heard the ship’s crew broadcast “Code Oscar, Code Oscar, Code Oscar,” over the loudspeakers around 15:00 on Sunday, March 3, 2024.

Sitting looking out the window from the lunch buffet, Amodio and her family could see a tiny vessel in the distance, with the people onboard apparently waving a large white flag.

“We were really surprised and honestly a little freaked out,” Amodio said.

“We’ve been on a handful of cruises and never seen something like this happen.”

The Icon of the Seas turned around to pull up delicately beside the small vessel.

The manoeuvre apparently took two hours, Amodio recalls, as the ship’s crew worked to avoid swamping the small vessel in the cruise ship’s wake.

The cruise ship, which launched in January, then “deployed a small zodiac-type rescue boat to investigate,” Amodio said.

“Eventually we saw Royal Caribbean crew helping about two people from the distressed boat onto the rescue boat before returning to the vessel. They then made a few more trips to safely bring everyone on board,” Amodio said.

“Everyone around us was watching from the windows with us and just talking about how this isn’t something we ever thought to experience, and we hoped everyone on board was OK,” she said.

“It was crazy to think that these people were stuck at sea for so long, and we were all onboard excited and relieved that the ship was able to rescue them.”

Amodio said that after the rescue, the cruise ship’s captain came over the loudspeakers to report the crew had rescued 14 people who had been stranded at sea for eight days.

The day after the rescue, the people were dropped off in Roatan, Honduras, Amodio added.

Details about the rescued individuals are still scant, however, a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard told Newsweek that the rescue occurred outside American waters, in Mexico’s area of jurisdiction.

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