British passengers on P&O cruise tell how giant ship rescued 20 migrants off the Spanish coast

British passengers aboard a P&O cruise ship explained how the ship helped rescue more than 20 migrants on an inflatable dinghy off the Spanish coast.

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About 3,000 passengers enjoyed a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea as they sailed the Azura from Cadiz to Barcelona when shouts, whistles, and cries for help were heard from the water.

When they ran to the balcony of the ship, they saw a crowded rubber boat, struggling to float and the passengers waved manically.

After coming to a halt, the cruise ship – on a three-day trip of £ 2200 – spent about an hour trying to find the inflatable raft.

A lifeboat was then sent to pick up its struggling passengers, most of whom were men in their late teens and early years & # 39; 20.

British passengers aboard a P&O cruise ship explained how the ship helped rescue more than 20 migrants on an inflatable dinghy off the Spanish coast (above)

British passengers aboard a P&O cruise ship explained how the ship helped rescue more than 20 migrants on an inflatable dinghy off the Spanish coast (above)

About 3,000 passengers sailed on the Azura (above) from Cadiz to Barcelona when shouts, whistles and shouts for help were heard from the water. Subsequently, a lifeboat was sent to pick up its struggling passengers, most of whom were men in their late teens and early 20s
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About 3,000 passengers sailed on the Azura (above) from Cadiz to Barcelona when shouts, whistles and shouts for help were heard from the water. Subsequently, a lifeboat was sent to pick up its struggling passengers, most of whom were men in their late teens and early 20s

About 3,000 passengers sailed on the Azura (above) from Cadiz to Barcelona when shouts, whistles and shouts for help were heard from the water. Subsequently, a lifeboat was sent to pick up its struggling passengers, most of whom were men in their late teens and early 20s

The captain informed passengers, most British, that Azura was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain. After they had sailed to the port, the migrants, wrapped in white blankets, were picked up (above) by the Spanish coast guard and handed over to the local police

The captain informed passengers, most British, that Azura was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain. After they had sailed to the port, the migrants, wrapped in white blankets, were picked up (above) by the Spanish coast guard and handed over to the local police

The captain informed passengers, most British, that Azura was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain. After they had sailed to the port, the migrants, wrapped in white blankets, were picked up (above) by the Spanish coast guard and handed over to the local police

It then took another two hours before they were all brought aboard the Azura.

While most praised the ship's crew for returning to help, some passengers were angry about the 10-hour delay.

A passenger, who did not want to give her name, said: “Once the migrants were on board, we had to return to Almeria, which took a lot of time.

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& # 39; The attitude of the passengers was rather mixed. Many were angry that we had been delayed and had to save these migrants. It was actually quite shocking what some people said. & # 39;

The passenger added: “It is not what you expect to happen during a cruise on the Mediterranean, but these people were just floating in the middle of the sea and were clearly in need. We couldn't just leave them behind. & # 39;

While passengers watched from the deck of the Azura, each of the migrants was brought on board following an investigation by the ship's security personnel.

The captain of the cruise ship informed passengers, most of whom were British, that it was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain.

He also apologized for the delay and explained that it was caused by & # 39; migrants in need & # 39 ;.

While passengers watched from the deck of the Azura, each of the migrants was brought on board following searches by ship security personnel
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While passengers watched from the deck of the Azura, each of the migrants was brought on board following searches by ship security personnel

While passengers watched from the deck of the Azura, each of the migrants was brought on board following an investigation by the ship's security personnel

Dorothy Hallet, 73, told MailOnline: "It was certainly a very interesting experience. The officers on the bridge were aware of the situation, but it takes quite some time to stop a large ship and then turn it around to find the small vessel again & # 39;

Dorothy Hallet, 73, told MailOnline: "It was certainly a very interesting experience. The officers on the bridge were aware of the situation, but it takes quite some time to stop a large ship and then turn it around to find the small vessel again & # 39;

Dorothy Hallet, 73, told MailOnline: “It was certainly a very interesting experience. The officers on the bridge were aware of the situation, but it takes quite some time to stop a large ship and then turn it around to find the small vessel again & # 39;

After reaching Almeria, the migrants, all wrapped in white blankets, were taken from the Azura Spanish coast guard and handed over to the local police while cruise ship passengers watched.

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Some passengers applauded about their rescue as the migrants waved at the ship and smiled as they left.

Passengers also revealed that when they left the Azura, the migrants thanked them and the ship's officials for their help in saving their lives.

They revealed that the engine on the rubber boat was no longer working and that it had been floating in the sea for several hours.

The Azura was due to arrive in Barcelona on Thursday morning, but the captain warned passengers that they could be delayed by 10 hours.

Dorothy Hallet, 73, told MailOnline: “It was certainly a very interesting experience.

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& # 39; As he rushed to the balcony, it was clear to see that there was an inflatable and overloaded dinghy in the water.

& # 39; The officers on the bridge were aware of the situation, but it takes quite some time to stop a large ship and then turn it around to find the small vessel again.

& # 39; The captain has done an excellent job in maneuvering the ship. & # 39;

The captain of the cruise ship informed passengers, most of whom were British, that it was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain. He also apologized for the delay and explained that it was caused by & # 39; migrants in need & # 39;

The captain of the cruise ship informed passengers, most of whom were British, that it was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain. He also apologized for the delay and explained that it was caused by & # 39; migrants in need & # 39;

The captain of the cruise ship informed passengers, most of whom were British, that it was being diverted to Almeria, in southeast Spain. He also apologized for the delay and explained that it was caused by & # 39; migrants in need & # 39;

Another passenger said: “It is not what you expect during a cruise on the Mediterranean, but these people were just floating in the middle of the sea and were clearly in need. We couldn't just leave them

Another passenger said: “It is not what you expect during a cruise on the Mediterranean, but these people were just floating in the middle of the sea and were clearly in need. We couldn't just leave them

Another passenger said: “It is not what you expect during a cruise on the Mediterranean, but these people were just floating in the middle of the sea and were clearly in need. We couldn't just leave them & # 39;

Mrs. Hallet from Hampshire, who was on the cruise with her husband, added: & # 39; It was a great humanitarian operation from HR and they should be applauded for that. What happens next to those people is up to the authorities.

& # 39; Regardless of what people think about those who make the often foolish and dangerous journeys from North Africa to the countries of Southern Europe, when faced with the possibility of saving drowning people, we are bound by the instincts of humanity to save them. & # 39;

According to figures, an estimated 73,000 voyages have been made to come to Europe this year alone, the majority from North Africa.

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A spokesperson for P&O Cruises said: & # 39; The Azura responded to an emergency call earlier today while en route from Cadiz to Barcelona. The passengers were medically checked on board Azura and then transferred to the Spanish authorities. & # 39;

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