Family suspects gastro the cause of elderly woman’s death aboard cruise

Peter Terlato 13 September 2016

P&O Pacific Jewel

Cruise operator denies claims of gastroenteritis outbreak.

An elderly woman has died on board a cruise ship travelling to the Great Barrier Reef.

According to the SHM, 79-year-old Margaret Carlson reportedly began showing signs of gastroenteritis soon after she boarded the ship.

Carlson was travelling with her daughter and teenage grandson. Her family says the ship's medical staff informed her she had likely brought the gastro bug on-board. Her daughter and grandson also fell ill during the journey.

Carlson was found dead in her room on 10 September while the ship was docked at Yorkeys Knob in Cairns.

Queensland police were called and said Carlson had died of natural causes. An autopsy will be carried out.

"An elderly passenger sadly passed away on Saturday on Pacific Jewel and our thoughts are with her family," a spokesperson for P&O said.

"There is no reported gastro outbreak onboard the ship."

Queensland Health said it hadn't received any reports of gastroenteritis on the cruise ship.

Another passenger was medically evacuated from the ship on 12 September for undisclosed reasons.

P&O Jewel is due to return to Sydney on 16 September, before disembarking again with a new group of passengers.

It's important to carefully consider and compare travel insurance options before embarking on an international or domestic cruise from Australia.

If you're a senior, find the best travel insurance policies using our comprehensive comparisons guide.

Picture: PomInOz /

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