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Kentucky Man Helps Rescue Refugees at Sea

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

John Mullins will tell you that he has bad eyesight, and on a recent cruise never wore his glasses until he sat down for dinner on Saturday night.

"If it hadn't been for that I'd never seen it! Just a flash in the horizon almost. My first thoughts were buoy. I'm thinking... 'What's a buoy doing out this far?,'" says John Mullins.

But it wasn't a buoy Mullins spotted. It was seven Cuban refugees stranded on a raft.

The only words they could say were 'water' and 'Miami'. While Carnival Cruise Ship Valor waited for the U.S. Coast Guard to arrive, passengers tried to help.

"Everybody was throwing food, water, and soft drinks," says Mullins.

Joey Rice, the grandson of Mullins, says it was his grandfather that really saved these men.

"It's awesome. If it weren't for him they may still be out floating around," says Rice.

As for the man that never wears his glasses, he says it's a good thing he put them on.

"I just feel like I was at the right place at the right time," says Mullins.

Mullins said he was told the rescued men had been at sea for nine days before they were found. The U.S. Coast Guard has since detained them and are now trying to figure out where to send them next.


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