At 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, the captain of the cruise ship Liberty of the Seas was navigating the final laps of the Caribbean when he saw a little sailboat struggling in the middle of the ocean. The Liberty’s 29 guests and 106 crew members, including the ship’s captain, made their way across the Atlantic Ocean to assist the single-masted sailboat trying to hoist itself up by ropes with its sails unfurled. According to published reports, the Liberty launched her own lifeboat to help to rescue those on the sinking boat, as well as a small plane that had been lost in the choppy seas. As of late Sunday evening, the Liberty was at the edge of the Bahamas escorting passengers back to Miami after cruising through the Eastern Caribbean. During the rescue, the Coast Guard was also conducting their own search. According to the Liberty’s crew, by Sunday night the sailboat was indeed rescued, but they were unable to confirm any further details of that rescue.
This is not the first time that the Liberty has helped out. In July, after a passenger had fallen overboard, the ship rescued the man in the Bahamas. On April 6, 2016, the Liberty rescued a reported 10 people, including a child, off the Florida coast from a small vessel that had run into trouble. In 2011, the ship rescued over a dozen people from Hurricane Irene. The vessel was also famous for rescuing more than 35 people from Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. However, some have called attention to the fact that these rescues have made the Liberty’s crew of more than 6,500 passengers with them become ill from their exposure to the weather conditions and the ocean waves. A New York Times article published in May, called “Cruise Ship Health Problems May Be Inevitable,” discussed the rumors that many have spread since that article came out, discussing the unsavory and chaotic behavior of passengers in the face of the far flung adventures they’ve taken, resulting in illness, and accusations of crime and violence. It also highlights that many passengers are plagued by changes they do not get to see the intended route of their cruise, which is likely as a result of the gruelling schedule cruise lines adhere to.