(MIAMI) — A Carnival Cruise Line ship and the U.S. Coast Guard rescued 12 people Wednesday after their small cargo vessel sank about 30 miles north of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Coordinating with Carnival’s Fleet Operations Center in Miami, officers aboard Carnival Vista changed the ship’s course to assist when an emergency alert was received by an onboard monitoring system early Wednesday morning. Officers spotted six men from the vessel Two Brothers on a life raft and brought them on board, but six other mariners were still missing.
After receiving a request for assistance from the Dominican Republic Navy, Coast Guard District Seven watch standers dispatched a Jayhawk helicopter from Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos to join the rescue effort. The helicopter crew began conducting search patterns near Two Brothers’ last reported EPIRB signal and located the remaining six mariners hanging on to debris from the sunken vessel.
The air crew hoisted the survivors onto the helicopter and transferred them to emergency medical services in Puerto Plata. All 12 survivors were reported in good health Thursday.
“The weather conditions were less than ideal,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jeb Slick, the helicopter mission’s co-pilot. “Our crew’s outstanding work ethic and dedication to training led to the successful rescue of these survivors.”
Click here to watch a video of the Coast Guard rescue.