Norfolk

Ex-Royal Caribbean captain died of Legionella

Tore Myhra
Image caption Tore Myhra had captained several ships with Royal Caribbean

An ex-cruise ship captain died while holidaying with the same firm he and his wife had worked for.

Tore and Sue Myhra, of Norfolk, "met and fell in love" on board a Royal Caribbean ship in the 1980s.

But in 2009, the couple were on one of its Caribbean cruises when the 57-year-old became ill and four days later died of Legionella in a Miami hospital.

An inquest into the death will be held next month. Royal Caribbean declined to comment on the case.

Mrs Myhra said her husband's case was "ironic" in that he had not been afforded the same consideration he had shown others when he was working.

'Everything to us'

Norwegian-born Mr Myhra had been the master of several Royal Caribbean cruise ships until his resignation in 1999.

In 1998, he sailed into harbour at night so a sick passenger could receive emergency medical treatment.

But, when he became a passenger himself, he, his wife and daughter were kept on board Liberty of the Seas until the end of the cruise, his widow said.

He became ill on 28 October, five days into the holiday, and died in hospital on 1 November, 2009, the day the ship returned to port.

The cause of death was found to be Legionella pneumophila pneumonia.

"The company was everything to us," said Mrs Myhra, of Belton.

"It was where we met, it was our life - the place where we fell in love.

"We had so much affection for it all."

'Should not happen'

Mrs Myhra's sense of betrayal intensified when she lost a case for damages against Royal Caribbean.

Filed in Florida, the case was dismissed last year.

She also lost an appeal against the court's decision and later tried to bring a lawsuit in the UK, but backed down on the advice of her lawyers.

"I've done all of this out of loyalty to Tore, and his memory," she said, adding she "couldn't begin to add up" how much she had spent on the case.

Image caption Mr Myhra died the day Liberty of the Seas returned to port

"In the end I dropped the lawsuit because he wouldn't have wanted me to risk it.

"I'm tough, and our daughter is strong.

"You never know how you will cope until something like this happens."

She said she had pushed for an inquest to be held into her husband's death and said it was an important step.

"The 'how it happened' is what I am interested in - Legionella should not happen in a well-maintained place," she said.

"I want his name to be known, to be remembered.

"He was the most important, just man.

"He would be the first to speak out in a case like this, so I had to do it for him."

A spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean said: "As there has been legal action unfortunately Royal Caribbean International is unable to comment."

An inquest into Mr Myhra's death is due to be held n Norwich on 14 May.

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