Claim of Gastro on P&O Cruises Ship: One Dead

   September 12, 2016 ,   Accidents

One woman died and several people are reported to be unwell after according to a family member there was an outbreak of gastroenteritis on a P&O cruise ship off Queensland's coast.

P&O Pacific Jewel left from Sydney on September 6 for a 10-night "Barrier Reef Discovery" cruise. P&O Cruises said there had not been a gastro outbreak on the ship.

Margaret Carlson boarded with her daughter and teenage grandson. It was the 79-year-old's seventh cruise in 10 years after her husband passed away, and she was looking forward to the journey after being upgraded to a luxury cabin.

She soon began showing signs of gastro and was told by medical staff that she had probably brought the bug onto the ship with her, her family says. Her daughter and grandson also fell ill after boarding the ship. 

On Saturday afternoon, when the ship was docked at Yorkeys Knob, Mrs Carlson's family discovered she had died in her room.

Police were called to inspect the scene and determined she had died of natural causes several hours earlier. An autopsy will be performed.

A P&O spokesperson acknowledged the death but denied there was a gastro outbreak.

"An elderly passenger sadly passed away on Saturday on Pacific Jewel and our thoughts are with her family," the spokesperson said. "There is no reported gastro outbreak onboard the ship."

One passenger was medevaced from the ship by helicopter on Monday for reasons which could not be divulged.

Mrs Carlson lived in Terrigal NSW for 18 years. She had osteoporosis but remained mobile by using a walking frame.

Queensland Police confirmed a 79-year-old woman died on a cruise ship that was docked at Yorkey's on Saturday. Officers will prepare a report for the Coroner.

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