MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — A Carnival Cruise ship assisted nine Cuban rafters adrift in the western Caribbean this week.
The rafters were spotted and photographed Thursday by iReport contributor Finola M. Jacobucci, a passenger aboard the Carnival Glory. They accepted water, food and life jackets but refused to come aboard, according to Carnival Cruise Lines.
The ship with about 3,500 passengers was en route from Costa Maya, Mexico, to Nassau, Bahamas, when the rafters were spotted.
“It’s a maritime tradition to help mariners in distress,” said spokesman Vance Gulliksen. “It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen occasionally,” he said.
Staff onboard the ship notified the U.S. Coast Guard, which picked up the rafters, Carnival Cruise Lines said.
The Coast Guard did not confirm or deny the incident, saying it cannot comment on ongoing investigations.
iReport photos and stories can be viewed at: www.cnn.com/exchange