80 Percent of Crew on Bulk Carrier Test Positive for COVID-19

0 comments

80 Percent of Crew on Bulk Carrier Test Positive for COVID-19

29 September 2020 The Maritime Executive
bulkers crew tests positive for COVID-19
Patricia Oldendorff bulk carrier’s crew is the latest COVID-19 incident – photo courtesy of Oldendorff

A bulk carrier anchored off Western Australia has become the latest vessel struck with a severe outbreak of COVID-19, serving as a reminder of the dangers that seafarers face during the pandemic. Currently, 80 percent of the crew aboard the 114,753 DWT bulk carrier during its current voyage has tested positive for the virus, although all are reported in good condition in quarantine until the virus is cleared.

The situation began on September 5, when the Patricia Oldendorff conducted a crew change while at Manila in the Philippines. Oldendorff in its statement on the current outbreak stressed, “The crew change was done in compliance with the Department of Transportation in the Philippines, Protocol for Crew Change and Repatriation.” Reports are that 20 of 21 crewmembers were switched with only the captain remaining aboard.

According to the company, all the crewmembers joining the bulker were quarantined in the Philippines before boarding and tested negative for the virus. All crewmembers again tested negative for the virus before leaving the Philippines.

Eleven days later when the vessel arrived off Port Hedland, on the northwest coast of Australia the captain informed local health officials that two crewmembers were not feeling well. The two crewmembers were put in isolation aboard the ship while the Australian authorities arranged for the crew to be tested. The two crewmembers were confirmed with positive tests on September 23. Two days later, it was agreed that 12 of the 21 crewmembers aboard the vessel, including the two positive cases, would be transferred to a hotel onshore where they would be placed in quarantine and could be observed.

The Department of Health for Western Australia at the time said that “Given the size of the vessel and number of crew, the Department of Health anticipates additional crew will also become COVID-19 positive over coming days.” They said that none of the crewmembers required medical treatment at the time and that planning was in place regarding potential replacement crew as well as the deep cleaning of the vessel.

The following day the Health Department announced seven additional cases had been confirmed among the nine remaining crewmembers aboard the vessel. 

Now the Australians have confirmed eight additional cases of the virus all found among the crew that had been transferred to shore. In total 17 crewmembers, including seven that remain on board as essential crew, have all tested positive for the virus. Only four crewmembers, at this stage, tested negative with two aboard and the other two on shore.

“We are very concerned about the health and wellbeing of our crewmembers and those caring for them,” said Oldendorff in its statement on the situation. “We have had excellent support from the Australian Department of Health, AMSA, and the Pilbara Ports Authority. The authorities have been managing the situation with upmost professionalism. Every effort is being made to contain and improve the situation as quickly as possible.”

Only a few of the crewmembers are reported to be showing slight symptoms of the virus but everyone remains in quarantine and will continue to be tested until they believe the outbreak has passed. Also, the Australia authorities have arranged for a thorough cleaning of the vessel.

Local media in Australia is reporting that residents of Port Hedland have also become very concerned because of the severity of the situation. While the local authorities are seeking to ensure the community that all the proper precautions have been taken, the Australian Defense Force has also been dispatched to ensure that the quarantine is fully observed. Health officials from Western Australia, however, are saying that they learned from the previous situation aboard the livestock carrier and cruise ship that previously had severe outbreaks of the virus in Perth.

The shipping company is reportedly still looking for alternate crewmembers to possibly staff the ship if the situation requires it and an alternate vessel is being sent to Australia to pick up the ore cargo that had been scheduled to be transported aboard the Patricia Oldendorff. It is unclear how long they anticipate the vessel will be held at anchor and when the crew might be permitted to return to their ship.

Leave a Reply

SSCP   CAS-002   9L0-066   350-050   642-999   220-801   74-678   642-732   400-051   ICGB   c2010-652   70-413   101-400   220-902   350-080   210-260   70-246   1Z0-144   3002   AWS-SYSOPS   70-347   PEGACPBA71V1   220-901   70-534   LX0-104   070-461   HP0-S42   1Z0-061   000-105   70-486   70-177   N10-006   500-260   640-692   70-980   CISM   VCP550   70-532   200-101   000-080   PR000041   2V0-621   70-411   352-001   70-480   70-461   ICBB   000-089   70-410   350-029   1Z0-060   2V0-620   210-065   70-463   70-483   CRISC   MB6-703   1z0-808   220-802   ITILFND   1Z0-804   LX0-103   MB2-704   210-060   101   200-310   640-911   200-120   EX300   300-209   1Z0-803   350-001   400-201   9L0-012   70-488   JN0-102   640-916   70-270   100-101   MB5-705   JK0-022   350-060   300-320   1z0-434   350-018   400-101   350-030   000-106   ADM-201   300-135   300-208   EX200   PMP   NSE4   1Z0-051   c2010-657   C_TFIN52_66   300-115   70-417   9A0-385   70-243   300-075   70-487   NS0-157   MB2-707   70-533   CAP   OG0-093   M70-101   300-070   102-400   JN0-360   SY0-401   000-017   300-206   CCA-500   70-412   2V0-621D   70-178   810-403   70-462   OG0-091   1V0-601   200-355   000-104   700-501   70-346   CISSP   300-101   1Y0-201   200-125  , 200-125  , 100-105  , 100-105  , CISM   NS0-157   350-018  , NS0-157   ICBB  , N10-006 test  , 350-050   70-534   70-178   220-802   102-400   000-106   70-411  , 400-101   100-101  , NS0-157   1Z0-803   200-125  , 210-060   400-201   350-050   C_TFIN52_66  , JN0-102  , 200-355   JN0-360   70-411   350-018  , 70-412   350-030   640-916   000-105   100-105  , 70-270  , 70-462   300-070  , 300-070   642-999   101-400   PR000041   200-101  , 350-030   300-070  , 70-270  , 400-051   200-120   70-178   9L0-012   70-487   LX0-103   100-105  ,