Motion Sickness Turns Tragic on Cruise Ship

Nicole Fabian-Weber

oceanI have always been petrified of cruises. Being in the middle of the ocean without any land for miles, the lack of laws, the Titanic -- none of it is appealing to me. My husband and family have brought up going on one numerous times, but I simply can't do it. And now, after learning about Janet Richardson, I'm really never going.

Janet Richardson, a grandmother of eight, recently was on a cruise along the coast of Norway with her husband when she suddenly started feeling unwell. After spending a few hours in the cruise hospital, the captain thought it would be best if she was taken somewhere on land, so he radioed for a rescue boat. Fair enough.

Well, it turns out the rescue boat was actually more of an un-rescue boat. Because when the squad was transferring Janet from the ship to the boat, they dropped her in the freezing Arctic. While her husband looked on.

Janet floundered around in the ocean for about four minutes before anyone could pull her out -- the pictures are horrifying. The 73-year-old died a few days later at the hospital.

I would imagine there are fewer things in life scarier than being dropped in 20-degree, choppy waters. And to have to endure something so awful, only to die afterwards -- terrible. Especially since this could have been prevented. George Richardson, Janet's husband, brings up an interesting point:

They could have held the lifeboat to the ship with a rope or something. But they were reluctant to go into port because they were already running late and it would have cost extra and caused further delays.

But, it wound up costing them so much more in the end. I get that the crew probably thought it wouldn't be a problem, and didn't want to be slowed down -- like many of us don't -- but now a man has lost his wife, and eight children have lost their grandmother.

Perhaps a better, "less annoying" method would be to practice this rescue technique. Have drills with dummies. It definitely doesn't seem like this was something rescuers had done a hundred times. And it's definitely not something anyone should die of.

What precautions do you think could have been taken to prevent this?


Image via Repoort/Flickr

Read More