Cruise ship patients ‘stranded’, woman claims

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser
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A passenger aboard the Astor cruise ship, which docked in Albany last week, says travellers who became sick with a gastrointestinal illness were left stranded at hospital.

Eight passengers were sent to Albany Hospital last Sunday night, some with suspected gastrointestinal illness.

The cruise ship was forced to quarantine guests with symptoms of the illness as a higher than usual number of passengers reported symptoms.

Passenger Michele Forkin was among those taken to the hospital and said they were not given any assistance once off the ship.

“We were just dumped,” she said.

“It was like ‘here you are, you’re not our problem anymore’ — we were left without any means of support.”

Ms Forkin whose mother, Shirley Forkin, was eventually diagnosed with salmonella, believed the reason for the sickness was related to something she had eaten.

No other cases of salmonella were reported on board and 19 cases of GI were dealt with by the cruise ship, a spokesperson for the Astor said.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages chief executive Christian Verhounig said he was aware of the higher-than-normal amount of GI cases on board.

“The vessel has increased sanitation measures in line with international sanitation procedures and is closely liaising with local Australian authorities,” he said

The cruise ship was cleared by the Health Department and Quarantine on arrival in Fremantle and has now set off for Europe.

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