Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas located and rescued a group of Cozumel fishermen, including a dog, who went missing over the weekend.
The cruise ship was on a 7-night Western Caribbean voyage when it came across the fishing vessel, Aris, 20 miles from Cape Catoche near the Yucatan Peninsula. Onboard were 6 fishermen and a small dog named Canelo.
They became stranded after their boat experienced engine trouble, eventually losing communication on Sunday, January 14.
After they were reported missing, search efforts by sea and air commenced. The local community also spread the word through social media. Local officials continued issuing reminders to look for the vessel on Tuesday morning.
On January 16, two days after the group was first reported lost, Harmony of the Seas spotted the missing boat as the cruise ship headed toward its first port stop. It had just left Galveston last Sunday and spent a day at sea.
Upon determining the fishermen’s location, the cruise ship deployed a smaller rescue craft to fetch the occupants of the fishing vessel. They found all six men and their pet dog in good health.
The entire group, as well as Canelo, was transferred to Harmony of the Seas. They were eventually endorsed to the Mexican Navy, which ensured the fishermen’s safe return to Cozumel.
Because maritime law demands that all vessels extend assistance whenever and wherever needed, cruise ships are often part of various rescues.
Last December, a Carnival cruise ship rescued a group of sailors whose cargo ship overturned.
In October 2023, a P&O cruise vessel aided search and rescue operations when two ships collided in the middle of the ocean.
Later that month, another cruise interrupted its voyage to rescue over 200 migrants in the Ionian Sea.