Family of crewman who died on board a cargo ship in King’s Lynn, tell of their anguish

Alfred Ismaili at home in Albania with his three young children. Picture courtesy of the Ismaili fam

Alfred Ismaili at home in Albania with his three young children. Picture courtesy of the Ismaili family. - Credit: Archant

He was just a simple seafarer trying to provide for his family, when he died 1,600 miles away from them.

The SMN Explorer cargo ship at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The SMN Explorer cargo ship at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Today the family of a 32-year-old crewman killed in an accident on board a cargo ship told of their anguish at being unable to fly his body home.

Alfred Ismaili from Durres, Albania, was pronounced dead at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn on Thursday, February 1.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has launched an investigation into the incident, which happened on board the SMN Explorer.

Almost two weeks after his death Mr Ismaili's family say that their grief is being compounded by having to wait to fly his body home.

A police forensic van arrives at Lynn docks. Picture: Chris Bishop

A police forensic van arrives at Lynn docks. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant


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The Norfolk coroner's office said the body would be released when its enquiries were complete.

Refik Goli, consul and second secretary at the Albanian Embassy in London, said: 'We are aware for the loss of Alfred Ismaili and we are collaborating with British authorities in this case, however the police in the UK still does not have an official report on causes of the death in order to continue with repatriation to Albania.'

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Mr Ismaili left a wife and three young children. In a statement via their lawyer, they said: 'Why so much suffering? It's not right, and not fair. He was not a criminal, just a simple seafarer, taking care of his family.'

The lawyer added: 'I'm irritated because still no final report from police department of Norfolk, or from the coroner's office of Norfolk. Nothing. Just wait, wait. It's not right. It's not human.

The SMN Explorer cargo ship at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The SMN Explorer cargo ship at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

'The family of Alfred is in suffering and I cannot do more. The father of Alfred is 80 years old, in hospital.'

The cause of Mr Ismaili's death has not yet been revealed. Emergency services were called to the Alexandra Dock at around 11.28am on the morning he died. An ambulance spokesman said it was called to reports of 'a traumatic injury' on a ship. She added: 'An ambulance, rapid response vehicle and ambulance officer attended. Sadly one patient died at the scene.'

Firefighters and a police forensic team were also sent to the incident. Police said they could not comment because the investigation was being led by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. The MAIB said its investigation could take up to 12 months to complete.

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