Royal Caribbean cruise ship saves 22 Cubans floating on raft as passengers cheer: report

Symphony of the Seas ship was traveling between Cuba and Key West, Florida, en route to Bahamas

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas cruise ship reportedly has saved nearly two dozen people found floating on a raft between Key West and Cuba.

The rescue of the 22 individuals – identified by Fox10 Phoenix as Cubans – happened Thursday as the ship was making its way to a stop in the Bahamas.

"The captain of the ship came on the PA and announced that there was a small vessel, according to him, that they spotted and looked like it was signaling for distress," Rich King, a traveler from Arizona onboard the ship, told the station.

King said the captain then "told us that he got clearance from the U.S. Coast Guard to go ahead and approach the vessel and start removing the people that were on there."

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Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas rescue

Refugees are seen being rescued and taken to the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship. (Courtesy Rich King/Fox10 Phoenix)

"They were taking on water. They said that their ship engine had broken down. They were out on the seas floating around for six days, and they finally got help from us," he added.

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Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

The Royal Caribbean ship Symphony of the Seas in 2019. (iStock / iStock)

After being onboard the Symphony of the Seas for an hour, the Coast Guard, according to King, arrived to pick up all the refugees.

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Royal Caribbean cruise ship rescues refugees

The refugees were picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard after being brought onboard the Symphony of the Seas, Fox10 Phoenix reports. (Courtesy Rich King/Fox10 Phoenix)

"The whole crew and all 5,000 passengers that were up top watching this unfold were all cheering and were just kind of happy to see people being rescued," he told Fox10 Phoenix.

FOX Business has reached out to Royal Caribbean for further comment.