Disney Wonder Rescues Six Men From Makeshift Raft

We received a report earlier this evening from a gentlemen currently sailing on a 5-Night Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. According to his report, the Disney Wonder came to the aid of a makeshift raft carrying a group of about 6 Cuban refugees on Wednesday night April 16, 2014. According to a later report the rescue occurred approximately 10 miles off the coast if Key West, Florida. The Disney Wonder was sailing at sea on Wednesday as she was sailing between Cozumel and Castaway Cay.

Disney Wonder Rescue April 2014

Shortly after the group boarded the Disney Wonder, they were handed off to the US Coast Guard.

Just over a year ago, the Disney Wonder came to the aid of eight Cuban refugees approximately 45 miles south of Key West, Fl.

We will update this article if any additional details become available.

Correction Six, not seven men were rescued.

16 Replies to “Disney Wonder Rescues Six Men From Makeshift Raft”

  1. Tricia

    Just got off the wonder. There were 6 men. Disney boarded them, fed them, gave them dry clothes, doc looked them over and coast guard came by to pick them up.

    1. Ethan

      I’m not comfortable leaving six men out in the ocean to die when we could help them. We can’t let fear overrule our humanity.

      1. Scott Sanders Post author

        The reality is that these men were fleeing Cuba for amnesty in the US. More than likely did not want to be ‘rescued’ as they will be sent right back to Cuba.

      2. Kathy

        All I’m saying is that Disney should put the safety of its passengers as it’s first priority. Contacting the Coast Guard should be sufficient enough. No need to bring these assumed refugees on board, no reason to leave them in the ocean to die. The Coast Guard is more than sufficiently trained and capable in handling these situations. The terrorists that are out to kill us have no reason to not give this a try.

        1. Dahlia

          Wow, I hope if I ever have an emergency at sea that you are not on charge of the nearest ship. I will choose compassion over the extreme unlikelihood of terrorists posing as Cuban refugees in order to take out a cruise ship (which has never happened, fwiw). I’m sure DCL and other cruise ships who “rescue” people like this (and there are many, manly cases of cruise ships picking up Cuban refugees) have security protocol they go through to make sure passengers remain safe. I highly doubt they put them on the ship and then leave them free to roam. Rather they are detained in a certain area until the Coast Guard picks them up.

  2. Amy

    I was on the Ship at the time of pick-up. We were about 10 miles from the keys and I heard they were upset at being “rescued”. Regardless, I am very happy that the ship circled around them and picked them up. If any of them had been in actual distress, it would have been awful to leave them for the coast guard.

  3. Rachel

    The fantasy came across a raft in the same area October 2012. Captain Marco didn’t let the people aboard but stopped and waited for the coast guard

  4. Stacy

    Not sure if the dates above where off but I was on The Disney Wonder cruise left Miami Friday 4/17/14 for western Carribean and the raft was spotted Saturday morning on 4/19 The Disney boat did not pick these people up. we stopped the ship and waited till another boat what we assume was coast guard picked them up.

  5. laurie rogan

    We were on the Wonder on April 19, 2014 and there were a raft of about 20 folks that were again on a raft. This was at about 10 am, so they were visible to the entire ship. We sat in the water, watching the raft, until the coast guard came and rescued them. They never boarded our ship, but were kept under a watchful eye by ship staff. Again, this was in the same area. Grateful
    to live in such a wonderful country as the US, seeing how desperate these folks are to gain entry.

  6. shwigs

    I was on the WOnder for the second round (April 19th) and the count was 15, we watched the whole thing unfold. Disney is both cases followed Maritime law very strictly. In the first instance there was no guarentee the the raft (and I use that term loosely) was going to stay afloat. Which is why they brought them on board. The second instance the vessel they were in was staying afloat as far as they could see, so the Wonder stayed in position until the Coast Guard to ‘custody’ of the raft.

  7. Tricia

    Thank you Laurie. Your post was accurate. I have a picture of the people on the raft that I took from deck 4 of the ship. No one from the raft boarded the ship at any time. The captain followed maritime law and stood watch over the raft until the coast guard arrived and launched a skiff to check out the raft. The ship left upon the coast guards arrival.

  8. Larry

    International law requires that vessels at sea must render aid regardless of status. This falls under the IMO Search and Rescue convention, and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Vessels are obligated to render aid or face criminal penalties. Once people are rescued at sea then they will be transferred to the nearest authority if available, or follow the directives of the coast guard in whatever territorial waters they are sailing. If the US Coast Guard is nearby then they will handle the case. Disney vessels are Bahamian flagged and subject to the laws of the Bahamas, and international law and conventions. Comments respective terrorists are simply ignorant and God help you if you require assistance at sea.

    1. Maury

      I think I’d rather take my chances on the raft than to meet up with the likes of some of you. You couldn’t find a nice way to allay her fears? Having a concern doesn’t always equate to ignorance. Being rude does.


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