Rest In Peace Alexandra Sagriff

Friends & family,

It is with great sadness that we share news with you about 18-year-old traveller Alexandra Sagriff who passed away on her graduation trip earlier this summer. She was an S-Trip! student organizer and traveller. By all accounts and tributes she was a wonderful young woman and is dearly missed.  No words can adequately express our sadness at Alexandra’s death.

Respecting the family’s wishes we did not speak to the media. We focused solely on supporting those affected by the tragedy. At this time we would like to update our community and clear up the false reporting and misconceptions.

In the early evening of Thursday July 6th, our staff were contacted by travellers who informed them of a medical emergency in a traveler's room.  S-Trip! staff, one of whom was a Canadian registered nurse, arrived on the scene and performed CPR until medical services arrived.  Sadly, the death of Alexandra Sagriff was pronounced shortly thereafter. The doctor on scene determined that it was due to natural causes.

The reports in the news that the body of the deceased was ‘found’ in her room were incorrect. She passed away from natural causes, and was in the company of friends, attended to by our staff and by medical professionals.  

Upon hearing the news we immediately dispatched our Emergency Response Team. Six senior staff arrived in Varadero early the following morning to provide additional support to the team onsite. Our team was in touch with parents of those affected, local authorities and made arrangements for 64 travellers to fly home.  Grief counselors were made available to the local high schools to support the community.  The 32 staff in Varadero continued to run the trip program for the students who were unaffected.

We are very proud of our staff and their professionalism in dealing with a most difficult tragedy. We are also very thankful for the support and cooperation from affected travellers, their parents and the community. In a time of great sadness many people rose to the occasion to support others.

Sadly, there was much speculation in the early reports by the CBC over the cause of death and character of the deceased.  This was very difficult for the family who had requested privacy from the media. This incident was at no fault of the traveler, her friends or S-Trip!.

Recently, the autopsy was released confirming that she passed away from heart and lung related issues. No drugs or alcohol were found in her system.  These facts have received little media coverage.

Let us know and celebrate the life of an exemplary young woman. Let us be cognizant that our words and actions have meaning. Let us respect and honour the departed.

We will continue to make every effort to ensure our graduation trips are a fun and safe experience.  We wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t believe in the power of travelling for young adults. We will honour her memory by dedicating ourselves to the continued improvement of our trips.

Our company and staff remain available to answer any questions.

 

Thank you,

Eugene Winer
President & CEO

 

Sources:

Click Here For: Global News - Belleville, Ont. teen on vacation in Cuba died of natural causes

Click Here For: The Toronto Star - Canadian teen found dead in Cuba died of natural causes, autopsy says

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