Man dies after incident on cruise ship while on Christmas break

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An elderly man tragically died on Christmas Day while he was on holiday on a cruise ship.

An inquest into the death of Garth O’Donnell, 73, was opened and adjourned today at Ampthill Coroner’s Court by senior coroner Tom Osborne.

The court heard that Mr O’Donnell, who has lived at Hillgrounds Road, Kempston for over 20 years, went on a cruise ship that left Southampton on December 21 to travel to the Canary Islands.

It was heard that the weather conditions were bad at the time.

He was found at the bottom of the stairs on the ship with blood coming from his nose and ears. He was then taken to the doctor’s office on board where he vomited.

The pensioner was then airlifted to hospital in Brest, France. It is thought the ship was somewhere between the Uk and France when the incident happened.

But he died on Christmas Day at Hôpital de la Cavale Blanche.

This week one of his neighbours paid tribute to him describing him as a “lovely man”,

The neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “I was really shocked when I was told. I actually found out on Christmas Day so it was very sad to hear.

“He was a lovely man, really nice to talk to. He was quite well-known in the street, everyone is quite shocked I think. He seemed fit and well and in good health.”

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