Twenty Cubans stranded at sea have been rescued by a Princess cruise ship on its way back from the Panama Canal. A Scottsdale man vacationing on the cruise ship captured the rescue on camera.
"My wife and I took a cruise tour to the Panama Canal," Nestor Guzman told CBS 5.
Guzman never could have imagined that after spending seven days out at sea, their vacation ship would suddenly turn from "pleasure" to "rescue."
"Finally the boat approaches our ship and we see 20 people there, 9 of them were children, there were three families in there, ages 3 years old to 80," Guzman said.
Members of the cruise ship helped rescue Cuban escapees who tried to make it to American land Sunday.
"And of course they were hungry, they had been lost for four and half days," Guzman said.
But being rescued doesn't necessarily mean they were freed, since the Cuban refugees never made it to American soil and were found at sea, they were returned to Cuba.
"It was good that they didn't perish in the middle of the ocean," Guzman said. "What is going to happen now that they go back to Cuba? All the dream lost."
For Guzman, an immigrant himself, this story of courage to seek freedom is painful to tell.
"To me especially, being from Latin America it was very emotional because I see the desire to go to the U.S. to be free after all these years, I'm sure all their partners were thinking about their children, we want the kids to be in America."
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