The Traveller: Baby fable

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The Independent Travel
YOUR recollections of life aboard the P&O ferry Eagle - particularly the tale of a baby who managed to survive a fall overboard (Independent Traveller, 27 February) - have prompted a response from the Eagle's senior captain, Gordon Renshawe. 'After 20 years memories fade and some poetic licence can be expected. Personally I never heard of a baby falling overboard, or anyone else. It was a long drop down,' he writes.

However, he was there when the Eagle put into Falmouth for shelter and the pilot, trying to board, slipped and was killed.

'We were often requested to stop in the 'Bay' (of Biscay) and had sick crew members from passing cargo ships transferred to our fully equipped hospital. The young seaman who'd had his arm wrenched off lost his nose and also apparently his right eye. The ship's doctor, Dr Winters, discovered that it had been pushed into the skull, and got it out with a plastic spoon, saving the seaman's sight.'

One has to wonder what sort of 'fully equipped hospital' finds it necessary to operate on its patients with plastic spoons.

Watch this space for 'Ferry Memories II: The Return Sailing]' (and the name of the winner of the P&O tickets).