Effort underway to save boat stranded off Cyprus

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A cruise ship is trying to rescue hundreds of people stranded aboard a small boat off Cyprus, and officials believe they're refugees who fled Syria.

Salamis Cruise Lines says one of its cruise ships has been instructed to change course and pick up the estimated 300 people, mostly women and children.

A Cypriot Defense Ministry statement says the small boat "most likely" set sail from Syria loaded with "civilian refugees."

The cruise ship company says it received the request from Cypriot Search and Rescue authorities to help in the rescue operation. The company says it can give rescued people blankets, medical care and food while taking them to a Cypriot port.

The Defense Ministry says there's bad weather in the area and the small boat had issued an emergency call.

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