23 rescued in Gulf of Mexico after drifting for days

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard says it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico.

A Coast Guard news statement issued Sunday says 22 Cubans started traveling on a wooden boat from Cuba to Mexico before losing power and drifting three days. A Cuban-Mexican man took them aboard his sports fishing boat, then its engines malfunctioned and the group drifted three more days.

The Coast Guard says it was contacted early Sunday by a brother of one of the Cubans. In addition to starting its own effort to find the disabled fishing boat, the Coast Guard alerted the Carnival Fantasy.

The cruise ship took the 23 people aboard within hours, about 130 nautical miles (210 kilometers) off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.