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Island Princess Cruise Ship Rescues Jamaican Boaters Adrift For Three Weeks

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MIAMI -- Five Jamaicans who said they had been drifting on a small boat in the Caribbean for three weeks were rescued Monday by a cruise ship, authorities said.

The Island Princess ship brought the group on board, Princess Cruises spokeswoman Susanne Ferrull said. Ferrull did not immediately know the boat passengers' conditions or ages.

The Island Princess left Fort Lauderdale a week ago and was scheduled to arrive Tuesday in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

The passengers on the boat told cruise workers they were on their way to a barbeque and ran out of gas, Ferrull said. The boaters asked the cruise workers to give them fuel so they could continue on their way, but the cruise workers said they don't do that. The cruise workers took the boaters aboard and notified officials in Jamaica.

The captain of the cruise ship notified passengers about the small boat earlier Monday on the loudspeaker.

"We noticed the boat slowing down," said passenger Andy Greenberg of Omaha, Neb. "We pulled up and the occupants were screaming: `No food, no water.'" Greenberg said passengers were told that the motor on the boat broke down.

The Coast Guard declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

The rescue took less than 45 minutes.

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