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Posted January 15, 2004 by publisher in Cuban Culture

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BY ELAINE DE VALLE | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Miami Herald

Eight Cuban migrants rescued last weekend by a cruise liner were taken back to Cuba Wednesday in the first such repatriation of the new year.

The group, all men, disembarked a Coast Guard cutter at Bahia de Cabaas on Cuba’s northern coast about 11 a.m., according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Passengers on Royal Carribean’s Brilliance of the Seas spotted the raft about 7 p.m. Sunday as the ship returned to the Port of Miami after a 10-day cruise, a company spokeman and passengers said.

The ship turned around after the passengers convinced the crew of what they saw and about an hour later, using three searchlights, found the group.

The men on the small wooden, homemade raft told the passengers and the crew that they had been at sea for seven days and that they had encountered trouble with their vessel, losing a sail. They said they had been drifting for three days with no food or water.

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