Carrying hundreds, if not thousands of passengers every day, today’s ferries are basically floating hotels. Catering for their passengers’ creature comforts with multiple buffet-style eateries, dining rooms, lounges and bars, they are sadly also occasionally scenes of food poisoning outbreaks. Here is what you should do if you fall ill on a ferry.
When you fall ill on a ferry
Falling ill with food poisoning is unpleasant enough, but on a ferry, it could quickly lead to a vessel-wide outbreak unless it is diagnosed and contained. If you fall ill on a ferry and suspect you have been exposed to food poisoning bacteria or a virus (like Norovirus, for instance), it is, therefore, vital to immediately seek medical attention and make a list of all:
- Foods/drinks you have consumed over the past 24 to 48 hours and when/where you have consumed them (to help identify the source of your food poisoning infection)
- People you have been in contact with during this period (some food poisoning bugs can be passed on from person to person. Isolating potential food poisoning victims can help to prevent the illness spreading rapidly).
- Areas of the ferry you have visited during this period. Food poisoning can sometimes be picked up/spread through contact with infected surfaces, like railings, door handles and elevator buttons, food utensils or toilet flush handles, for example.
According to the Athens Convention, seagoing vessels like ferries, cruise ships, and so on, have a duty of care towards their passengers to prevent personal injuries (including food poisoning) and damage to/loss of property. This means if you fall ill on a ferry, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim under this convention if the ferry/cruise ship started and finished from/at a UK port and you fell ill within the last two years.
1992 Package Holiday Regulations
You can also make a claim if the ferry on which you contracted an illness departed from a foreign port. In this case, however, you would have to claim under the 1992 Package Holiday Regulations act. Here, claims can only be made if:
- A UK company is the tour operator
- There were no en-route ‘stop-offs’
- You contracted a disease within the last three years
Accident Advice Helpline
We can help you determine under which act/convention to claim, gather necessary evidence and bring your food poisoning claim to a rapid conclusion. Learn more by calling our helpline on 0800 689 0500 from any UK landline or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile today.