Stornoway couple take legal action over ruined holiday

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A Stornoway couple are part of a group of cruise ship passengers pursuing legal action after illness outbreaks onboard a cruise liner this summer.

Victims of illness outbreaks onboard the Fred Olsen cruise ship the Black Watch have instructed specialist lawyers to help them following their ordeals.

Mr and Mrs Macleod, from Stornoway in Lewis have revealed how they sought medical attention from a nurse onboard the ship and were then confined to their cabin after they fell ill during a 14-night break on the ship after departing from port on August 18th. This was reported in the Stornoway Gazette following their return.

Mr and Mrs Ross, from Bathgate, West Lothian, were on the voyage which departed on September 8th 2013. It has been reported that 130 passengers became ill on this cruise.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Travel Law team, which has represented thousands of holidaymakers affected by illness problems on cruise ships and at holiday resorts, has now been instructed by the holiday makers to pursue a claim against the cruise company.

The legal experts, who have also acted for holidaymakers in relation to problems on other Fred Olsen liners, such as the Boudicca, are particularly concerned after receiving reports that scores of people have become ill on separate voyages in the past two months:

· 112 guests are reported to have fallen ill on the voyage which began on August 18

· 59 passengers were reported to be ill on a September 1st cruise to Norway

· 130 were reportedly affected by gastric problems on the vessel during another cruise on the Black Watch ship which departed from Rosyth on September 8th

· Media reports now say that Fred Olsen has confirmed that 72 people on a voyage to France departing on September 20th onboard the Black Watch have been struck down with sickness and diarrhoea.

Amandeep Dhillon, a specialist in cruise illness cases at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We have been asked to help a number of passengers who have become ill on board the Black Watch during several separate voyages in recent months.

“Illness problems of this kind cannot be underestimated, as we have seen numerous cases where victims have been left with long-term health problems after being affected by outbreaks.

“We will now be making our own enquiries into the cause of illness onboard the Black Watch to determine whether more could and should have been done to prevent our clients becoming ill.

Mrs Macleod recalls: “Our whole experience was ruined by the illness problems and we will never go on a cruise again after what we went through.

“I needed an injection and tablets after falling ill and being confined to our cabin was a nightmare. It was madness getting handed our meals by the door – it was like being in some kind of prison.

“Both of us suffered so much during the trip and we now just want answers over everything we’ve been through. We know that some other people suffered for almost the whole of their journey.”

Mr Ross reported: “We had saved up for the trip as we had really wanted to see the sights in St Petersburg but we were unable to do so because of our illnesses. I was very disappointed that our holiday plans were ruined.

“I was not surprised to see that there were three ambulances waiting at the port to treat people when we arrived back in the UK.”