Lawyers Demand Safety-First Approach After ‘Illness Emerges On Aurora Cruise Ship’

Experts Helped Holidaymakers Secure Justice Regarding Problems On Vessel in 2009


Specialist lawyers who helped holidaymakers secure justice regarding illness problems on board the Aurora cruise ship in 2009 have called for passenger safety to come first after reports revealed a suspected outbreak of Norovirus on board the newly-refurbished vessel.

According to TTG, an announcement regarding the illness was made on board the ship, which has been redesigned in recent months, during its current four-night voyage from Southampton on January 4th.

P&O Cruises confirmed to the website that “an incidence of mild gastrointestinal illness” had emerged on the ship, with the cruise line adding that “enhanced sanitation protocols” were in place after ten of the passengers on board displayed gastric illness symptoms during the cruise.

Specialist illness lawyers in Irwin Mitchell’s International Personal Injury team have vast experience helping thousands of people affected by gastric problems on cruise ships and at holiday resorts across the world.

In 2013, the team notably helped 15 holidaymakers secure a substantial six-figure settlement from Carnival UK following illness suffered on board the Aurora in 2009. One of the passengers they represented had been infected with E.coli.

Expert Opinion
It is very worrying to hear reports of illness on board the Aurora. It is too early to be certain whether all of those passengers who are ill are affected by norovirus or some other illness with a viral or bacterial cause. In any event, it is very welcome to hear that steps have been taken to minimise the potential risks faced by passengers on the vessel.

"Ensuring the safety and minimising the risk faced by those on board must be the top priority at present, with attention in due course turning to understanding the source of the illness and whether more could have been done to prevent its spread on board the Aurora.

"Cruise ship operators have clear guidelines to follow in terms of health and hygiene to reduce the chance of illness occurring, as well as guidelines for the management of outbreaks of illness, if and when they do occur.

"All holidaymakers who take cruises do so hoping to have a relaxing, memorable break. Clearly illness can destroy the possibility of this. Most people who suffer gastric illness will make a complete recovery within a few days or weeks, but for those unfortunate enough to suffer severe illness, there is a risk that they could be left with long term and sometimes permanent health issues which can have a significant impact upon their future lives.

"We hope that the illness outbreak is contained and doesn’t spread to other passengers. We also hope that all of those who effected by illness make swift and complete recoveries."
Suki Chhokar, Partner

There are a number of practical steps that you can take should you find yourself suffering from the effects of Norovirus whilst on holiday:

  • Report your illness to the medical centre on board the ship by telephone to avoid the spread of infection;
  • If you are asked to do so by either the Captain or Crew, confine yourselves to your cabin as you should stay in your room for 48 hours after your symptoms cease;
  • Use cabin service wherever possible - do not eat from buffet or any other public eating areas until you have been symptom free for 48 hours;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water - use hand gels or rubs which are usually available at the entrance or exit of the buffets and at various other points in public areas of the ship;
  • Ask for extra towels from the cleaning staff and do not share flannels or towels;
  • Flush any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet and ask for the surrounding areas to be cleaned as a cleaning team should be sent to disinfect your cabin.