A cruise tourist has died after falling into the sea as she tried to climb back aboard the Cunard flagship Queen Elizabeth after visiting the beach resort of Sihanoukville in Cambodia.
It was one of three strange deaths on cruise ships in recent days. A cabin attendant discovered two cruise passengers dead in their cabin on Holland America Line’s Ryndam.
In the Cunard case, the woman passenger was returning to the line’s flagship on a small boat after visiting the resort of Sihanoukville, Britain’s Daily Mirror reported.
Cunard said in a Facebook statement: “Two of our crew reacted quickly but despite our best efforts she died.”
According to Cunard’s statement, the woman fell from the boat and although two crewmembers jumped in to rescue her immediately, they were unable to get her to a doctor in time.
Queen Elizabeth arrived in Sihanoukville on Wednesday 1 April 2015 from Thailand, and departed on the evening of the same day.
In the Ryndam case, Holland America Line (HAL) issued the following statement: “At approximately 11.30am local time, two guests onboard ms Ryndam were found deceased in their stateroom in what appears to be a murder-suicide. The cabin was immediately secured and the authorities were notified, including the FBI. We are cooperating fully with the investigation and the authorities will make the official determination on what occurred.
“We are terribly saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of these guests at this difficult time.
“The ship is currently alongside in San Juan, Puerto Rico.”
Ryndam was operating a 14-day Southern Caribbean round-trip cruise from Tampa, Florida.
Miami-based maritime lawyer Jim Walker has criticised HAL’s statement, writing in his Cruise Law News blog: “The cause of death of the couple cannot possibly be determined until the FBI has conducted its forensic work, the bodies have been removed from the cruise ship, and a medical examiner has concluded a thorough examination of the bodies with the assistance of other forensic experts, pathologists and toxicologists.”
A cruise line cannot “make an instantaneous determination of the cause of two dead people in a cabin,” Walker writes.
“The proper procedure for the cruise line to follow is for the crew member(s) to immediately leave the cabin, lock the door and call security who, in turn, will secure the cabin and assign a security guard to safeguard the crime scene until the FBI team boards the ship.”
Written by Peter Needham