Cynthia Martinez, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman, told Cruise Critic that a guest aboard Allure of the Seas alerted the crew to the presence of the boat. The captain turned the ship around and sailed towards it. The Haitian passengers on the boat told the captain they did not need any assistance and so Allure continued on its way to Cozumel. However, after the captain alerted the U.S. Coast Guard he was asked to return to the boat and take the passengers onboard. Royal Caribbean did not say what reasons the Coast Guard gave for the request.
Allure picked up 58 Haitian citizens, including 47 adult men, seven adult women and four boys under the age of 18. Once onboard the cruise ship, they received food, water and medical treatment. At the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard the Haitians were disembarked in Cozumel this morning.
According to The Montreal Gazette, the Haitians were handed over to the Mexican Navy.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor