SA Cruise News

Police investigating death of South African woman aboard cruise ship in Durban

The South African Police Service is investigating the death of a woman working aboard MSC Orchestra during her summer cruise season out of Durban.

The 29-year-old crewmember was reportedly working her first contract with MSC Cruises aboard Orchestra during the current 2021/22 cruise season.

According to IOL, police in Durban were dispatched to the cruise ship on Friday while she was docked at the new Durban Cruise Terminal.

MSC Orchestra alongside at the Durban Cruise Terminal

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National police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Netshiunda, said the woman is believed to be from the Eastern Cape, and was on duty when she was found dead.

“The police on Maydon Wharf have registered an inquest docket and are investigating the circumstances surrounding the woman’s death,” he said.

Netshiunda did not provide additional details regarding the circumstances of the crew member’s death, however, a friend and colleague of the woman, said she was found in a pool of blood.

She had injuries to her neck and head, and had bled to death, according to the friend.

Lebo Mavuso, the public relations manager for MSC Cruises South Africa, has appealed to the media to give the family privacy and said the cruise line would not be disclosing any details regarding the woman’s death.

“We have been in communication with her family and extend our deepest condolences to them for their loss,” Mavuso said.

“The death, which we believe to have been of an accidental nature, is being investigated by the local authorities and we will continue to provide every assistance,” she added.

Mavuso reiterated that the company would not be revealing the woman’s identity or any further details.

The Crew Center, a news resource for the cruise industry’s global crew community, reported that a crew member aboard the ship said there was a medical emergency announcement over the ship’s public address system, and medical staff went to help the crew member, but could not save her.

The woman was working in the mess and this was her first contract with MSC Cruises, according to the site.

MSC Orchestra

MSC Orchestra returned to South Africa in December to commence the 2021/22 summer cruise season out of Durban, sailing 3 and 4-night roundtrip cruises in the Indian Ocean.

Her season marked MSC Cruises return to South Africa after the previous cruise season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it has been a bumpy restart for the cruise line. MSC Orchestra was forced to pause operations for a month in December due to a COVID outbreak aboard the ship, and resumed operations in January.

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