September 18, 2013
The refugees, who were fleeing the fighting in Syria, were attempting to cross the Mediterranean in a small boat that had gone adrift when they were spotted about 100 miles off the coast of Sicily.
Crown Princess, which was in the middle of a two-week Mediterranean sailing, was en route to Corfu when the Italian Coast Guard called seeking help. Upon the cruise ship's arrival, the refugees, including 44 children, 20 women and 94 men, were offloaded onto Crown Princess where they were given food, water and medical attention. Video footage of the rescue can be seen on YouTube.
One of the refugees, the Daily Echo reported, was a pregnant woman tended to by the ship's doctor before the Coast Guard flew her to a Catania hospital, where she gave birth.
All other refugees were eventually transferred onto Italian naval ships and taken to the port of Syracuse.
The ship skipped Corfu on Sunday but arrived in Dubrovnik on Monday as planned. No compensation for the missed port was given.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor