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Coronavirus Kent: Sheppey family of eight launch petition to return home after getting stuck in Goa

A family of eight from the Sheppey are stranded thousands of miles from home, running out of food and medication.

They are stuck in Goa in India after their flight home was cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic spiralled out of control.

The Kent family in Goa, photographed when they first arrived. Picture from Chanttel Carrington
The Kent family in Goa, photographed when they first arrived. Picture from Chanttel Carrington

An online petition to get the group back by this afternoon had raised 191 names.

Mum-of-two Chanttel Carrington said: "We are stranded with little money and three of our party members are in need of prescribed medication.

"We have tried to contact the British Embassy multiple times with no success.

"There is no sign of help or support whatsoever."

Other group members include Ms Carrington's children Ivy-rose McCoy, six, and son George McCoy, four, as well as her partner Barney McCoy.

The group are stuck in Goa. Stock picture
The group are stuck in Goa. Stock picture

The rest are Ms Carrington's parents Gary and Denise Carrington, aged 59 and 56 respectively, her sister Charley Carrington, 19, and Charley's boyfriend Luke Manning, 18.

They had gone on holiday to the coastal state of Goa but their flight home last Monday, March 23, was cancelled as the chaos from the pandemic crisis continued to worsen.

Ms Carrington said that she and Mr McCoy received rough treatment from local police when they went to get medication and food for their children and were ordered back to their hotel.

She added: "We went to the shops to get some medicine and also some food for our children the police attacked my partner with sticks when we attempted to try and buy food and medicine.

The children saw the spectacle and Ms Carrington said:"My son was crying and said are we going to die in this hotel?

"The hotel is running out of food and the kids are starting to get poorly and distressed with the situation."

The families have asked for help by email to people and groups such as their local MP Gordon Henderson, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British government, their airline and Goa's travel and tourism group.

The family do not need money to return home because they can cover travel costs with UK cash.

But they say they are unable to get their money changed to Indian rupees. to pay for their immediate needs.

The government says it is working with the Indian authorities and airlines to support British nationals who want to leave India and return to the UK.

Speaking on Tuesday, Ms Carrington added that she had not received any further information from the government.

She added: "We are still stuck in the hotel, we have not heard a thing and food is slowly running down. Everyone is getting worried."

You can sign the petition to get this family home here.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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