Inquest told of woman's fall leading to cruise death

Mary Atherton
Image caption Mary Atherton died during a cruise on the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth

A retired teacher who died while on a cruise on the luxury Queen Elizabeth liner was crushed between a boat and a floating platform, an inquest has heard.

Mary Atherton, 75, of Penwortham, Lancashire, had been returning from a shore trip to Cambodia last April.

She was attempting to step from a transport vessel, known as a tender, onto a pontoon attached to the liner.

Preston Coroner's Court heard Ms Atherton had mobility problems.

Her son Michael told the court his mother had previously undergone hip and knee surgery.

He said she had been on cruises before and had made operator Cunard aware of her issues when she booked the cruise.

Passenger Andrew Allen saw Mrs Atherton fall into the water. He told the inquest he felt the tender and the pontoon should have been tied more closely together.

Mr Allen said he expected to see a gang plank or extra ropes.

The hearing continues.

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