Carnival Cruise Ship Rescues Two American Sailors off Bahamas

Mardi Gras
File image courtesy Carnival

Published Aug 8, 2023 6:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] On Monday, a Carnival cruise ship answered the call to help rescue a small sailing vessel in distress off the coast of Castle Island, in the Bahamas. 

At 0100 hours on Monday morning, the cruise ship Mardi Gras had just left her home port of Port Canaveral and was under way on a voyage to Aruba when she received a request for assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard. A distress call had come in from a small sailing vessel near Mardi Gras' position, and the USCG asked if the cruise ship could divert and assist. One of the passengers was reportedly in need of medical attention. 

The Mardi Gras changed course and began a search pattern. After about two hours, the cruise ship's crew located the distressed vessel and launched a rescue boat and a life boat to help. Two U.S. citizens were safely rescued from the small craft and brought aboard for care. 

Mardi Gras has returned to her commercial voyage, which will take her to Bonaire, Grand Turk and the Turks and Caicos over the course of the next five days. 

Cruise ships routinely participate in search and rescue operations in the Caribbean, often saving vessels that might otherwise be out of reach of assistance, particularly small migrant craft. This service is required by international law, and also alleviates the burden on U.S. Coast Guard SAR assets. The U.S. Coast Guard also provides cruise lines with helicopter medevac services for passengers.