Colchester man named as tragic 85-year-old who died on board Marco Polo cruise ship

Gazette: James Swinstead with wife Helen Swinstead James Swinstead with wife Helen Swinstead

A PASSENGER has been killed during stormy conditions aboard cruise ship Marco Polo on the English Channel.

He has been named locally as James Swinstead, 85, of Eight Ash Green, Colchester. 

The father of two and former marketing man died almost instantly when the wave crashed through four of the ship's windows.

He was on the cruise with his wife Helen, 82, when water crashed through one of the vessel's Waldorf Room windows on Friday. 

Speaking at Tilbury docks this morning, Mrs Swinstead said: “It was dreadful.

“I was sitting next to him and this window just came in and the sea with it.

“We were all very wet.

“My husband was going to go in the helicopter but he died before they could get him on it.

“He has never made the headlines, and now he is sitting on his cloud chortling.

“He was a lovely husband."

The cruise ship, operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) - which operates out of the Port of Tilbury - was bound for the Thurrock terminal when it was hit by a large wave off the coast of Cornwall.

As a result of the incident, an unrelated woman, aged 70, was airlifted to hospital but her condition is not said to be life threatening.

Fourteen other passengers aboard the ship, which was due to complete a 42-night cruise to the South American Amazon and the Caribbean yesterday, were left with minor injuries.

A spokesman for CMV said: "Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time."

The vessel sailed from Tilbury on January 5, carrying 735 mainly British passengers and 349 crew.

Friends have described Mr Swinstead as "a real gentleman and a character who will be sorely missed around the village".

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE MONDAY'S GAZETTE.

Comments (5)

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9:43am Sun 16 Feb 14

Harry-Brown says...

R.I.P

Old Friend
R.I.P Old Friend Harry-Brown

4:54pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Assimilation says...

Very, very sad.
Very, very sad. Assimilation

6:05pm Sun 16 Feb 14

SOMETHING2SAY says...

R.I.P Sad news agreed...now read her story on BBC News.....banging on about paint / rust / "I expect to be hearing from... " ( ££££££££ ) 85 ?? So it was a heart attack waiting to happen...and this dreadful weather is to blame.....he could have easily been sitting at home in his conservatory and a tree fell !!! Like i say...sad news....but mother nature takes no prisoners..." wrong place wrong time "
R.I.P Sad news agreed...now read her story on BBC News.....banging on about paint / rust / "I expect to be hearing from... " ( ££££££££ ) 85 ?? So it was a heart attack waiting to happen...and this dreadful weather is to blame.....he could have easily been sitting at home in his conservatory and a tree fell !!! Like i say...sad news....but mother nature takes no prisoners..." wrong place wrong time " SOMETHING2SAY

9:37pm Sun 16 Feb 14

icecoolmark says...

@something to say... what a disgusting attitude, if the wave hadnt smashed the window then this poor man would be sittting indoors enjoying memories of his holiday with his wife! If the maintenence of the ship is to blame then someone is responsible... just like a badly maintained tree. anybody could have a heart attack at ANY given time. RIP Mr...
@something to say... what a disgusting attitude, if the wave hadnt smashed the window then this poor man would be sittting indoors enjoying memories of his holiday with his wife! If the maintenence of the ship is to blame then someone is responsible... just like a badly maintained tree. anybody could have a heart attack at ANY given time. RIP Mr... icecoolmark

1:21am Tue 18 Feb 14

Boris says...

icecoolmark wrote:
@something to say... what a disgusting attitude, if the wave hadnt smashed the window then this poor man would be sittting indoors enjoying memories of his holiday with his wife! If the maintenence of the ship is to blame then someone is responsible... just like a badly maintained tree. anybody could have a heart attack at ANY given time. RIP Mr...
i agree with icecoolmark. Meanwhile the cruise company seems to have behaved very badly so far, but Mrs Swinstead might be better off not speaking to the press, and putting matters in the hands of her solicitor.
RIP Mr Swinstead, who seems to have been a well loved and respected member of his community.
[quote][p][bold]icecoolmark[/bold] wrote: @something to say... what a disgusting attitude, if the wave hadnt smashed the window then this poor man would be sittting indoors enjoying memories of his holiday with his wife! If the maintenence of the ship is to blame then someone is responsible... just like a badly maintained tree. anybody could have a heart attack at ANY given time. RIP Mr...[/p][/quote]i agree with icecoolmark. Meanwhile the cruise company seems to have behaved very badly so far, but Mrs Swinstead might be better off not speaking to the press, and putting matters in the hands of her solicitor. RIP Mr Swinstead, who seems to have been a well loved and respected member of his community. Boris

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