Cruise NewsCruise Ship Rescues 68 Migrants, 5 Dead in Wooden Craft

Cruise Ship Rescues 68 Migrants, 5 Dead in Wooden Craft

68 migrants were rescued off the coast of the Canary Islands on Thursday, as Oceania’s Insignia was directed to the vessel after a distress call came in.

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Oceania Insignia in cruise port

The cruise ship, owned and operated by Oceania Cruises, was sailing near the shores of the Canary Islands and Tenerife when a distress call came in from Spanish authorities.

An oil tanker traveling from Spain to Brazil had spotted a wooden vessel on Wednesday afternoon and alerted Spain’s rescue agency.

Oceania’s Insignia was nearby and was diverted by Spanish authorities to aid the vessel in distress. 

According to news reports, 68 migrants were rescued by the cruise ship, found drifting in the wooden dinghy about 400 miles south of Tenerife.

5 dead bodies were reportedly discovered on the vessel, but only three were able to be recovered due to worsening weather conditions.

The Insignia is expected to arrive in Tenerife on Friday.  The 670-passenger vessel is currently on a 180-day world cruise and will be sailing towards England and Ireland next week.

This is not the first time migrants have been discovered trying to make it to the Canary Islands from the western shores of Africa.

According to Spain’s Interior Ministry, over 55,000 migrants traveled to the Canary Islands last year alone.  This is double the number from the year prior.

Safety of life at sea is of paramount importance for all seafarers,” said a spokesperson for Oceania Cruises, which is owned by parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

We can confirm that the Insignia rescued 68 people from a vessel in distress between Cape Verde and Tenerife, brought them onboard for medical assistance and provided food, drinks, clothing and a safe place to rest,” the spokesperson added.



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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCruise Ship Rescues 68 Migrants, 5 Dead in Wooden Craft

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