Thousands sign cruise ship crew petition following Norfolk dancer’s emotional plea
PUBLISHED: 08:21 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:33 30 April 2020
More than 4,500 people have signed a petition to repatriate British cruise ship crew members - which was started by a Norfolk woman who is stranded on a vessel off the Bahamas.
Dancer Lauren Carrick, of Taverham near Norwich, has been stranded aboard the Celebrity Infinity ship for the best part of six weeks, along with her 27-year-old fiance Joseph Harrison.
All the ship’s guests disembarked in the middle of March but the crew have been forced to remain, confined to their cabins with very little to do and no definite route home.
The vessel is currently anchored off the coast of a private Bahaman island, but is aiming to dock in Miami to arrange flights home for its 900-strong crew - but has been met with resistance from American authorities.
Miss Carrick, 29, set up an online petition calling for support in repatriating British cruise ship workers and after sharing her story with this newspaper, more than 4,500 have to date pledged their signature to the cause,
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And Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew, who represents her village, has written to the American ambassador in a bid to help their flight.
He told BBC Radio Norfolk: “I have been working with the cruise company improve conditions and I am now working with the US ambassador - that is, I have written to him - asking him to exercise some influence and allow common sense to prevail.”
A spokesman for Celebrity Cruises said: “We have no higher priority than keeping our guests and crew safe, healthy, cared for and well-informed.
“We have al all times worked in close co-ordination with government and health authorities and we are grateful for their guidance.
“We are working with all appropriate authorities to ensure the safe return home of all of our crew members.”
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are doing everything we can to help British crew on board cruise ships around the world, but this is a complex challenge during an unprecedented crisis.
“We are in direct contact with the operator of the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship, as well as with many crew members and their families.”
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