A couple who took a cruise to recover from a series of bereavements are recovering themselves after their own horrifying ‘brush with death’.
Minutes into a dinner outside an Italian port on the Island Escape ship, Jill and Jim Dobbin, of Brackley, found themselves on the floor with glasses, crockery and food pelting down on them.
“We thought our time had come. The ship was brought out of harbour in very bad weather and headed towards some rocks,” said Mrs Dobbin.
“The captain steered so sharply it listed to 45 degrees and everything was thrown to the floor. The restaurant windows were under water.
“The waiters guided us outside of the restaurant where we found other passengers, some with injuries including broken limbs and everyone absolutely terrified. A piano fell on some people.”
Mrs Dobbin said she was too scared to sleep for the rest of the seven-day Mediterranean cruise. Then, on the last day, her husband Jim was taken ill with a norovirus which lasted ten days. She also caught the sickness and diarrhoea bug.
Mr and Mrs Dobbin are among 86 passengers sueing Thompson Holidays for compensation following the cruise earlier this summer. Mrs Dobbin – a veteran of six cruises – said she would never feel easy on a ship again.
“We were told this was a former ferry and we think it must be taken out of service.
“We thought it was going to be like the Costa Concordia disaster,” she said.
A Thompson statement said: “As this case is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.
“Customers’ health, safety and comfort are our main priority and incidents such as this are extremely rare.”