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Crew of the giant Icon of the Seas cruise ship rescues 14 people adrift in the sea

MIAMI — The crew of what is considered the world’s largest cruise ship rescued 14 people clinging to a small boat adrift on the ocean, authorities said.

Passengers aboard the Icon of the Seas captured video of the crew using a small vessel to ferry the group to the safety of the cruise ship on Sunday. The cruise had begun in Miami, and the ship was headed for Honduras when the rescue happened, passengers said.

The cruise ship encountered the small vessel “adrift and in need of assistance,” Miami-based Royal Caribbean said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday.

“The ship’s crew immediately launched a rescue operation, safely bringing 14 people on board,” the company said. “The crew provided them with medical attention, and is working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard.”

The crew broadcast “Code Oscar, Code Oscar, Code Oscar,” over the loudspeakers around 3 p.m., Alessandra Amodio said in a report on

Amodio said she watched as people on the tiny craft waved a large white flag.

“The boat turned around, and we pulled up as close as we could to them and stopped,” Amodio said. The cruise ship then launched “a small zodiac-type rescue boat to investigate.”

After the rescue, Amodio said the cruise ship’s captain announced that the crew had rescued 14 people stranded at sea for eight days.

The Icon of the Seas is considered by cruise industry experts to be the largest cruise ship in the world at the moment, the Miami Herald reported. It can host 5,610 guests and 2,350 crew members. The ship has 2,850 staterooms, 18 guest decks and seven swimming pools.

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