CRUISES bring hundreds of people together on one boat. They can holiday on the vessel for weeks at a time and enjoy a huge variety of activities on board. However, if something goes wrong, there’s a certain codeword cruise crew will use.
Cruises are a popular holiday choice for many Britons. Passengers can relax on board knowing they are being completely looked after by crew. However, it isn’t always smooth sailing and things do still go wrong. But in order to avoid alarming guests, the crew will often use a series of codewords in the case of emergencies. They will mean nothing to any passengers overhearing them but to their colleagues, it will signify an important message.
However, if the worst happens on board and someone dies on a cruise ship, the announcement “Operation Bright Star” is made, which alerts the crew to the death of a passenger.
The body is then zipped up in a body bag and put in the ship’s morgue. There is usually space for three or four bodies on board.
Tina Molson, 52, from Cleethorpes, who worked in an onboard duty-free shop from 2002 to 2010, has explained that deaths aren’t that rare.
“Many of the older passengers go on cruise ships for months because it’s cheaper for them than living at home. Some even go to sea to die,” Tina told The Sun.
“There was often a death on board. On one ship we had a shop store room next to the freezer room where the bodies were stored. We called it the ‘coffin locker.’”
One cruise line told the Telegraph that bodies are offloaded as soon as possible via an exit away from the passenger gangway.
Next, a death certificate will be issued and the body repatriated. Costs are the responsibility of the deceased person’s family but should be covered by travel insurance.
Alternatively, the body can remain on board and return home on the ship – enabling the partner of the deceased to continue with the trip.
Most deaths are a result of age-related illnesses – the average age of a British cruise passenger was 56 in both 2017 and 2016, according to industry figures….
Source: www.express.co.uk (Harriet Mallinson)
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