Legal bid over Sheffield couple’s cruise illness

The ship onboard which a Sheffield couple fell ill
The ship onboard which a Sheffield couple fell ill

A man and woman from Sheffield are among 86 passengers taking legal action after their holiday was ruined by a gastric illness which swept through their cruise ship.

Karen and Paul Forrester, from Chapeltown, were onboard cruise operator Thomson’s Island Escape ship earlier this year when they and scores of fellow passengers fell ill.

Karen, aged 65, was prescribed two lots of medication and an injection to stop her vomiting after contracting a sickness and diarrhoea bug.

Paul, 55, was provided with antibiotics aboard the ship and needed two anti-sickness injections and rehydration sachets.

Travel law specialists at Irwin Mitchell, which has offices in Sheffield, have been instructed to investigate the concerns of sick passengers who travelled onboard the cruise liner between March and June this year on voyages around the Mediterranean.

A number were confined to their cabins for a number of days after suffering diarrhoea and sickness, and lawyers claim they have received numerous complaints about the ship, including allegations that some of the food served was lukewarm and undercooked.

They are also looking into claims that some cabins were damp and had overflowing toilets.

Irwin Mitchell has represented more than 280 passengers who became ill onboard the Island Escape ship in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Elizabeth Tetzner, an expert travel lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the group, said: “The number of people who have contacted us with complaints about this cruise is very worrying. These passengers deserved to have the luxury voyages they paid for but instead suffered horrific symptoms and had their cruises ruined.

“This is the fourth year that we have heard complaints about illness and food hygiene onboard this ship.

A Thomson spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear of Karen and Paul Forrester’s experience on board the Island Escape.

She added: “As this case is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.

“The ultimate priority for Island Cruises is the health, safety and comfort of all our customers. We operate stringent health and hygiene procedures in line with industry standards.”