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Cruise ship makes unplanned stop due to medical incidents

Wednesday 13 September 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Health, Local, National

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Cruise ship makes unplanned stop due to medical incidents
The Coral Princess 23091223

Cruise ship Coral Princess made an unplanned stop in Rarotonga on Tuesday as two people required medical attention, while it is understood a passenger on an inbound Air New Zealand flight to Rarotonga died this week.

Air New Zealand said for privacy reasons, they were unable to give any details.

Te Marae Ora (TMO) Ministry of Health confirmed that yesterday there was a passenger from Air New Zealand who passed away on the way to hospital.

Secretary Health Bob Williams alsos aid there was a passenger from a cruise ship admitted to Rarotonga Hospital and there was no plan for evacuation yet.

Meanwhile, Cook Islands Ports Authority chief executive officer Okesene Moananu confirmed two people aboard Coral Princess needed medical attention urgently so they stopped in Rarotonga for drop off.

He said he did not have the schedule for Coral Princess, but the ship had departed straight away.

Coral Princess reported via social media that the ship made an unexpected call to Rarotonga, to medivac a passenger.

Coral Princess further stated that in respect for the passenger’s family, there would be no further comment or information posted in regards to the medivac, only to say the medivac would not affect their arrival in Auckland, New Zealand.

It is understood the vessel was on its way to Auckland from Papeete, French Polynesia.

The Coral Princess is registered to Bermuda and was built in 2000 at a cost of US $360 million.

Its tonnage is 91,627, at a length of 294 metres, 62 m in height, and a speed of 22 knots.

It has a capacity of 1970 passengers and 900 crew.

In December 2022 the Coral Princess’s journey around New Zealand’s tourist hotspots hit a snag when snails were detected in the ship’s discharge pipes.

The cruise was meant to begin with a view of Mitre Peak, but instead passengers spent extra days at sea – on top of the three-day journey from Brisbane.

The ship was not allowed to sail into the Milford Sounds, where it was entering the country, because of the snails.

Instead it rerouted up around Cape Reinga and over to the eastern coast of New Zealand.

The cruise ship headed to the coast off Tauranga, out of the country’s territorial waters, where it is was cleaned by divers and the snails removed.

In October 2022 the cruise ship with about 2,000 guests, 900 crew and a growing Covid-19 outbreak on board arrived at Fremantle Port, becoming the first major cruise ship to visit the port since the beginning of the pandemic.

Around 100 passengers and crew tested positive on the Coral Princess.