- Passengers on the stranded MS Zaandam, a Holland America Line cruise ship where four passengers have died and there are confirmed coronavirus cases, are pleading for help.
- Chris Joiner, a 59-year-old from Canada, and his wife Anna spoke to Reuters on Friday, sending the outlet a selfie of the pair of them wearing masks and holding a sign saying "HELP US."
- "We're isolated. We're stuck on this ship. We can't go anywhere because we're not healthy, I guess," Chris Joiner said, adding that the cruise had turned into a nightmare.
- The son of one couple trapped on the ship said that his parents and fellow passengers are "sitting ducks."
- Business Insider broke the news Friday that four passengers on the MS Zaandam had died.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .
Passengers stranded on the MS Zaandam, a Holland America lines cruise ship where four passengers have died and there are confirmed cases of coronavirus are pleading for help, and say that being stuck on the ship is a living "nightmare."
Business Insider's ine Cain broke the news of the deaths on board the ship Friday after hearing leaked audio from a sister ship sent to rescue stranded passengers. Holland America confirmed the report soon after it was published, saying in a statement: "Holland America Line can confirm that four older guests have passed away on Zaandam."
Medical staffers and the representative also confirmed at least two cases of COVID-19 on board.
Now, passengers on board are sharing their stories from the ship, which is currently anchored off the coast of Panama after being stopped from docking in the Central American country.
There were originally 1,243 guests and 586 crew members on the Zaandam. The ship's passengers have been confined to their rooms since Sunday , with crew members delivering meals and collecting trash from cabins.
Chris Joiner, a 59-year-old from Canada, and his wife Anna spoke to Reuters on Friday , sending the outlet a selfie of the pair of them wearing masks and holding a sign saying "HELP US."
"We're isolated. We're stuck on this ship. We can't go anywhere because we're not healthy, I guess," Chris Joiner said. He added that the trip, which started in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 7, had turned into a "nightmare."
Cheryl Deeks, a 66-year old British woman on the ship with her husband David, told Sky News that the uncertainty of when they may be able to get off the ship along with the possibility of picking up the coronavirus is making her and fellow passengers nervous.
"I think that's the biggest problem because we're on edge all the time," she told Sky.
"We're physically well, but mentally we're quite stressed not knowing if we had a plan, if we knew for definite what was going to happen.
"I know they can't tell us, but it's just the not knowing that makes you feel uncomfortable."
British tourists Kim and Chris Bedford, both in their 60s, are both on the ship, and their son Neil described them and fellow passengers as "sitting ducks."
"If they can just find a port to dock it would be a huge relief. The fact they're just sitting on board a ship, it's like they're sitting ducks," he told Reuters Friday.
"My mum was saying that until recently they were fine," Bedford told Sky News.
"Now I definitely think, without her actually saying it, there's some panic setting in. She said yesterday she was feeling very somber and they're not sleeping well."
Holland America said Friday it had plans to transfer healthy passengers on the Zaandam onto Rotterdam, its sister ship.
"Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring," the company's statement said, adding that it planned to dock the ship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the coming days.
Read Business Insider's full story on the deaths on board the MS Zandaam here.
- 138 passengers and crew members have fallen ill aboard the stranded Holland America cruise so far, and a coronavirus test is still on the way
- A cruise ship with 1,800 people is unable to dock at any local ports. Now 138 are sick, 4 are dead, and coronavirus cases are being confirmed on the stranded ship still at sea.
- Panama Canal blocks Holland America cruise ship with 138 ill crew members and passengers, and 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board