The new citizen of the world, Mustafa, was brought into the world on board Côte D’Albatre, when his mother went into labour before arrival in Dieppe.

Baby born on board DFDS vessel

Mustafa in the arms of captain Matthias Bidet. The pictures were taken when Matthias and Sabine (CDA OBS Manager) visited the happy mother and her newborn child in the hospital in Dieppe.

Now here is a story that will touch your heart:

In the middle of the night, at about 02:20 hours on 7 October, the officer on watch on Côte D’Albatre informed the captain that a passenger was suffering from back and stomach pains. “I met her a few minutes later, and as she was 8½ months pregnant, and the pains were coming every 8-10 minutes, it became obvious to me that she was having contractions and that labour had started,” said Matthias Bidet, Senior Captain. We will let him tell the story in his own words.

“The ship was 1½ hours from Dieppe, and speed was already set at the maximum, and as I have five young children myself, one of only six months, I knew we had to prepare for a birth on board.

Following a public announcement requesting medical assistance, a nurse, Mr Julien Pennanec’h, offered to assist us. It wasn’t really his special field, but his general medical knowledge proved to be an invaluable help.

I also quickly phoned Purpan Hospital in Toulouse, which is the medical call centre for French merchant ships, and we were in touch with a doctor on a very regular basis. We were extremely pleased with the help provided, as the woman’s waters had broken and the doctor onshore advised us that the situation was becoming so unsafe for the woman and the baby that we couldn’t delay the birth any longer.

We were told to make the woman ‘push’ and help the baby to come out, and that’s what we did. The baby (a boy, Mustafa) was finally born at 03:50 hours, as the ship was passing the Dieppe breakwater.

“I am extremely proud of Matthias. He has clearly demonstrated his skills and competencies, not least the skills which he has acquired from extensive medical training, and from being a father of five,” says Gemma Griffin, VP HR & Crewing.

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