A reader of Cruise law news has brought to our attention that newspapers in Germany are reporting that the police in Berlin arrested a cruise ship employee impersonating a cruise ship doctor.

In an article titled "Fake Doctor Treated Hundreds of Cruise Passengers," the German newspaper Aftenposten says that a 40 year old man was arrested in Germany after flying from Miami yesterday to join an AIDA cruise ship.  He had been working on cruise ships in the Caribbean, after falsifying documents in order to claim that he was a doctor. He was actually educated as a nurse but had he had worked as a ship doctor for five years the newspapers suggest.

AIDA Cruise Another German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost covered the story and says that the so-called doctor falsely claimed that he specialized in anesthesia and intensive care.  

Carnival-owned Aida Cruises offered no explanation why it hired someone with no medical school education or credentials.  The cruise line obviously did not conduct a thorough pre-employment background check.  It also potentially compromised the heath and well-being of hundreds of passengers and crew members. This also raises the issue whether adequate background checks were performed on other cruise employees.

The strange thing about the articles is that neither the supposed ship doctor nor the Aida cruise ship where the "doctor" was headed or the ships where he previously worked were identified.

Does anyone with information about the identity of the fake doctor or the cruise ships where he fraudulently treated passengers and crew members?

December 8 2015 Update: Based on reliable information I have receiced, it appears that the bogus ship doctor worked aboard the Aida Vita. 

April 26 2016 Update: A newspaper says that the bogus doctor was charged with "63 charges of inflicting bodily injury. The man is further charged with fraud, forgery of university diplomas and unauthorized conduct of an academic degree. In total there are 81 charges."

Photo Credit: "Aidasol" by Patrick Martini – www.schiffgiganten.de Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons

  • Denz

    It is True

  • Me

    Interesting question, whether the cruise lines are responsible to check credentials or whether they need reasonable doubt to do so. However, Aftenposten is a Norwegian newspaper, not German as suggested in this article (for the record).

  • Aaron James Fabila

    I was an Ex-Crew on Aida Vita since 2011 until I resign last March . I think they do background check for Non-EU CREW only. If you have pictures of the fake doctors send it to my email. I had a minor operation to remove the boils without ANESTHESIA.