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Couple Taking Legal Action After Illness Ruins Birthday Cruise

Expert Travel Lawyers Investigating Illness On Board Sapphire Princess Ship


A retired couple has instructed expert travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of the illness they suffered whilst on board the Sapphire Princess, which left them suffering symptoms more than three months later.

Allan and Mary Strange, from Ferryhill, County Durham sailed around Southern Asia with Princess Cruises to celebrate Mary’s 65th birthday in March 2015.

However, just days into the cruise they began to suffer with diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pains and a fever and were unable to enjoy the facilities on board the ship or disembark at a number of the destinations due to the illness that they were suffering.

Allan, 66, and Mary, 65, both visited the medical centre on board the ship and were given intravenous injections and medication to alleviate the symptoms which they were suffering with. However, their illness continued for the rest of the cruise and they are continuing to suffer with the long-term impact of the illness to this day.

They told the specialist international personal injury team at Irwin Mitchell that hand sanitising procedures did not appear to be enforced on board the ship and guests were not cleaning their hands before visiting the restaurants. They also reported that the food was sometimes lukewarm and that chicken was, occasionally, seen to be pink inside.

Jatinder Paul, a Solicitor and expert international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing the couple, said: 

Expert Opinion
“The illness Allan and Mary suffered while on board the Sapphire Princess is concerning.

“Older people and children are particularly vulnerable when affected by gastric illness and it is important that these issues are not downplayed. It is too early to identify the cause of Allan and Mary’s illness and whether more could have been done to prevent it. Our investigations will include consideration of the conditions and hygiene measures which were in place on board the vessel at the time to prevent the spread of illness on board the Sapphire Princess cruise.

“The last thing Allan and Mary expected when booking their cruise to celebrate Mary’s birthday was to be stuck in their cabin or the ship’s medical centre. Understandably they want answers about why they fell ill.

“We would urge anyone else who has had a similar experience on board the Sapphire Princess to come forward as they may be able to help with our investigations.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate

Mary said: “We are very experienced travellers and have been on a number of cruises around the world, but we have never experienced anything like this before. We both suffered with horrendous symptoms on the ship and I was extremely concerned about Allan and feared for his life as he was so ill.

“We were not able to enjoy the cruise as much as we would have done as a result of our illness and the last thing we expected to be doing on holiday was visiting the medical centre.

“Both of us were looking forward to the cruise and celebrating my birthday, as well as Allan’s retirement, in style, but the holiday didn’t turn out that way and we are still suffering the after effects of this illness and are constantly feeling run down and tired. We are usually quite active people, but this has knocked us for six. We want answers as to why we suffered the illness we did and hope that things can change to ensure other people don’t suffer in the same way that we have.”

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