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Cruise ship passenger dies while swimming close to 'haunted' Mystery Island

Cruise ship passenger dies while swimming close to 'haunted' Mystery Island

The passenger died near the island nation of Vanuatu

A cruise ship passenger has died after swimming near Mystery Island, Vanuatu.

The man had been travelling on board the Carnival Splendor cruise ship which was sailing around the South Pacific.

They had set off from Sydney, Australia, on 15 May and had been planning to return there in a matter of days.

The Carnival Splendor had journeyed to Mystery Island, Vanuatu - an uninhabited piece of land in the Pacific Ocean - and the passenger had died after swimming off the island's coast.

Cruise ship passengers are allowed to disembark from their vessel and set foot on the island, and there are some dwellings for overnight stays, but living there is considered taboo as the island is considered to be haunted.

Passengers who visit the island as part of their cruise can go snorkelling off the coast and according to Carnival Australia, this is what the deceased man was doing when he died.

The man had been travelling on board the Carnival Splendor cruise ship.
martin berry / Alamy Stock Photo

The cruise ship owners issued a statement about the passenger's death, which occurred on 20 May five days into their voyage.

They said: "Carnival Cruise Line is deeply saddened by the death of a guest on Mystery Island, following what appears to be a medical situation whilst swimming.

"Our Care Team are supporting the guest’s family along with other guests during this difficult time."

The cruise ship is scheduled to return to Sydney tomorrow (24 May).

The island's real name is Inyeug, which means 'small island' in a local language, but it was given the name 'Mystery Island' after it was visited by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, when they were sailing around the Pacific as part of a tour.

The man died swimming off the coast of Mystery Island, real name Inyeug, Vanuatu.
Elizabeth Given / Alamy Stock Photo

The name 'Mystery Island' was invented to give Inyeug a more interesting headline from outlets that decided to cover the impromptu royal island picnic.

Meanwhile, some locals have speculated the island is 'haunted' at night.

The small island does contain a runway to handle flights for people wanting to reach the nearby Aneityum Island, the southernmost island of Vanuatu.

Last month, Australian man Warwick Tollemache vanished from the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship south of Hawaii and despite search efforts, he has not been found.

“Our family is heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Warwick,” his family said in a statement.

“He was a kind, beautiful, and gentle soul who was adored by everyone who knew him. He will be deeply missed.”

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Debu55y/Alamy Stock Photo/Joe Eldridge/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Australia, World News, News, Travel