Ferry passengers hit by ashes scattered overboard by family

Ferry passengers hit by ashes scattered overboard by familyStock photo: PA

A ferry passenger has complained after being hit in the face by ashes that were scattered overboard by a grieving family.

George Thompson says the remains got caught on the wind and flew back on to passengers on the crossing from North Shields to South Shields in Tyneside on Sunday.

According to The Sun, the dad-of-two from South Shields said: 'I noticed a burial-type service taking place.

"A woman was conducting a prayer, and the next thing I knew she was scattering the ashes overboard.

"But they all blew up in the wind back onto the ferry, and into my face, and other people's faces.

"I am sorry about their loss and have every sympathy, and I understand they were trying to do this peacefully.

"I just don't think a public ferry, when there are children onboard, is the right place."

A spokesman for Nexus, the company that operates the Shields Ferry, said the family had asked beforehand about their plans, and that it was not in breach of regulations.

He told the Daily Mail: "We occasionally get asked by bereaved families to use the Shields Ferry to scatter the ashes of loved ones on the river.

"The ferry will always seek to accommodate these requests.

"The general feedback from customers was that this was a nice gesture, and everyone gave the family the respect and space they needed to carry this out."

The spokesman added that he was "sorry of Mr Thompson was inconvenienced" by the ceremony and that the company would carry out a review to see if there was a better way to deal with the situation if it arose again.

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