A woman who was dropped into the sea off Norway while being transferred from a cruise ship to another vessel has died.
Janet Richardson, 73, from near Penrith, Cumbria, was taken ill on the Ocean Countess and fell into the sea while being stretchered onto a rescue vessel. She spent eight minutes in the near-freezing Arctic Ocean before being rescued and taken to hospital in Norway.
The grandmother died at Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, on Thursday evening her family said yesterday.
Mrs Richardson had been struck down with internal bleeding on the voyage from Hull to Norway on a trip to see the Northern Lights with her husband George, 78.
The captain of the Ocean Countess, operated by UK company Cruise and Maritime Voyages, had called for a rescue boat to take her to hospital.
As she was being lifted from the ship to the rescue boat, the two boats moved away and her stretcher slipped from the grasp of the rescuers and she fell into the water.
The incident is under investigation by the cruise company and the Norwegian rescue authorities.
In a statement North Cumbria University Hospitals said: “It is with regret that Mrs Janet Richardson passed away on Thursday evening, 21 April.
“Respecting the family’s wishes we have no further comment at this time.”
Chris Coates, Marketing Director of Cruise and Maritime Voyages said: “The directors and staff of Cruise and Maritime Voyages are all deeply shocked by the news received a short while ago that Mrs Janet Richardson has passed away.
“All our thoughts and prayers are with the Richardson Family at this sad time.”
The statement added: “Cruise and Maritime Voyages are doing everything possible to assist with the full inquiry.”
The investigation is being conducted by detectives from Salten Police District, based in Bodo, Norway.