Cruise Bruise

Dr. David Allaun
Cruise Ship Doctor Allegedly Held Prisoner

Aboard Balmoral Doctor Sues Fred Olsen Cruise Line & Captain Robert Bamberg

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Dr. David Allaun
Cruise Ship Doctor Allegedly Held Prisoner

Aboard Balmoral Doctor Sues Fred Olsen Cruise Line & Captain Robert Bamberg

According to actual court documents:

Tim Rex was on the ‘Titanic Memorial Voyage’, working for the BBC to film the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The cruise offered by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines aboard MV Balmoral was attempting to successfully complete the fateful journey at the same time, date and course the Titanic took in 1912.

Just before 10:00 am April 10, 2012, Rex fell ill and was taken into the care of Dr. David Allaun suffering from an acute cardiac condition. After examining the patient, Dr. Allaun consulted with cardiac specialists on land. By 1:00 pm the doctors and specialists had come to the conclusion the patient’s condition and current rate of decline required immediate hospital care that could only be provided in a land based hospital. They determined chances for his patient’s survival if he remained at sea for the planned six-day transatlantic cruise was unlikely.

Dr. David Allaun immediately informed Captain Robert Bamberg of the dire condition of passenger Tim Rex and requested an immediate medical evacuation.

After appraising the situation Captain Bamberg stated that placing the ship in helicopter evacuation range would require a course change that conflicted with them reaching the site of the historic RMS Titanic Sinking at the precise 100 year mark. Irony of maintaining the course on schedule, risking human life was not lost on the good doctor and he took steps during communications with on shore advisors to countermand captain’s orders. Communications on the ship between doctor and captain broke down. The entire medical staff continued to provide care with no updates from the captain. Later the captain informed passengers, medical staff and the patient via the ships public address system they would indeed be turning around for an evacuation. Late in the evening Tim Rex was airlifted to an emergency care hospital in Ireland.


On April 19, the ship arrived in New York and ship guards informed Dr. Allaun he was forbidden to leave by orders of the Chief Officer. They clearly showed a willingness to use physical force as needed that would prevent any attempt to leave. Later the Port Operations Manager for Fred Olsen Cruise Line boarded the ship and Dr. Allaun informed her he was being held against his will. He made a second attempted to leave the ship with the same result. Hours later he made his third attempt and was allowed to leave.

As he left the ship he met up with his wife and found she was forced off the ship as it docked and not allowed to return. As soon as she realized they would be late for their prepaid shore excursions she made an attempt to board. She was denied access, given no explanations or indications that he was held on the ship against his will.

Several days after the medevac, Tim Rex received life-saving surgery and spend the next year receiving medical attention before he was healthy enough to return to his job at the BBC.


Relations that followed between the Doctor, the cruise line and ship’s captain from the return trip and beyond were so hostile Dr. David Allaun says he was forced to resign his position. Dr. David Allen agreed to appear in a BBC documentary film about their cameraman’s rescue but filming was delayed. 101 years after the sinking of the Titanic, the legal case between Dr. David Allaun v. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Miles Morgan Travel and Captain Robert Bamberg was filed.

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