Fred Olsen cruise illness
Travel law specialists are today calling for an immediate review of hygiene procedures on board Fred Olsen cruise ships after a spate of outbreaks that left passengers confined to their cabins and in desperate need of medical attention.
Clive Garner, Head of travel litigation at law firm Irwin Mitchell, says his team of lawyers have been asked to help more than 30 passengers who were struck by illness whilst travelling on the Boudicca cruise liner and also the Balmoral, including the widow of a man who tragically died after travelling on the ship.
He said: “We are acting for a growing number of passengers who became ill after taking cruises on Fred Olsen ships the Boudicca and the Balmoral. We are also acting for the family of one passenger who recently died in hospital in La Gomera, in the Canary islands after becoming ill during a cruise on the Boudicca.”
“Several recent cruises on the Boudicca have been affected by widespread illness with the ship recently being forced to dock a day early when more than 500 passengers were reported to have been struck with Norovirus.
“The fact that we are instructed to help passengers on two different Fred Olsen ships travelling on several different cruises between October 2009 and January 2010 is of major concern and we urge a thorough and speedy review of hygiene procedures on board all of the ships in the Fred Olsen fleet.”
Protocols to deal with the management of Norovirus and outbreaks of other gastric illness on board cruise ships have been in place for many years and demand strict adherence to enhanced hygiene standards, including quarantining those with illness symptoms, increasing cleaning and disinfection measures on board, warning all passengers to take special care with hygiene and a range of other measures to reduce the risk of infection.
Mr Garner said: “Over the years we have represented hundreds of cruise ship passengers who have fallen ill during cruises in different parts of the World, most of whom could have avoided suffering illness if adequate steps to prevent the spread of illness had been taken by the cruise lines they were travelling with.
“Although victims of Norovirus often suffer only short term symptoms, for some their illnesses can be severe, long lasting and sometimes permanent. Fatalities due to Norovirus are rare but we are investigating the recent death of a British man who died ashore in hospital after contracting suspected Norovirus on board the Boudicca. We urge Fred Olsen to take immediate action to ensure that all relevant steps are taken to prevent further illness among passengers on their ships are taken.”