A 72-year-old woman from Telford has died after falling overboard while on holiday on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
Marcia Thelwall-Jones, a retired teacher, was on a two-week cruise on the Aurora when she was reported missing. The ship turned around shortly after leaving port in Portugal, when the alarm was raised.
Mrs Thelwall-Jones’s husband Hugh, a retired doctor, and son Simon were too upset this afternoon to talk about the tragedy.
Tributes have been paid to Mrs Thelwall-Jones, of Harley Close, in Dothill, who was a member of the Eyton and Wellington WI.
Family friend and WI member Anne Toll, said: “We are all shellshocked. Marcia was a very dear friend and an active member of the WI. She was a real character. ”
Another WI member, who did not want to be named, added: “Marcia was such a lovely and interesting lady. She always had something of value to talk about.
“Some people just stand out and Marcia was one of those people.”
A spokesman for P&O cruises confirmed that a woman fell overboard the Aurora ship on September 29.
He said a major search operation was immediately ordered, but it remained unclear how she fell in.
The spokesman said: “We can confirm a female passenger was missing presumed overboard on Aurora o, as it sailed from La Coruna to Barcelona.
“The ship turned round to search for her, aided by other ships in the area and all relevant authorities were advised. A body was recovered by the ship’s crew.
“The ship was on a 14-night Western Mediterranean cruise which left Southampton on September 26.
“Our care team is supporting, offering assistance and making arrangements for the family.”
An inquest has been opened and adjourned.
By Joseph Masi