Monday, 13 April 2020

Spanish longliner medivacs the captain ashore with COVID19

The hospital ship Esperanza del Mar on April 8, 2020, has medivaced a crew member of the Ribel Tercero with coronavirus symptoms 1000 miles off the coast of Vigo. The rest of the ship's crew will also be tested when it had docks in the city on April 11. The hospital ship that was heading to provide health care to Galician vessels fishing in the North Atlantic, deviated its course after receiving the alert message from the Ribel Tercero near the Azores. 

The fishing vessel contacted the Navy Social Institute, which deals with the health situation of Spanish sailors, to indicate that the ship's captain had fever and other symptoms that could coincide with COVID-19. The Esperanza del Mar, which was nearby, picked up the captain late at night and transferred him to Vigo, where he was dropped off in the morning of April 10. He was transferred him to the Álvaro Cunqueiro hospital to undergo the relevant tests. The rest of the crew will also undergo a quick test as soon as they have returned to their home port. The Esperanza del Mar has been disinfected so that it can restart its voyage and provide sanitary support to the Galleg fleet.

The Ribel Tercero returned to the port of Vigo in a hasty way in the morning of April 10 after confirming the first positive COVID 19 test on board, a sailor who was evacuated by the hospital ship Esperanza del Mar. Once in port, the nine crew members, accompanied by the shipowner, remained waiting for the preventive protocol to be deployed, after having shared space for more than 15 days with an infected person. 

The shipowner managed the transfer of his crew in vehicles, who now must pass the mandatory quarantine period in their homes. The shipowner's own organization and the longline organization of A Guarda then began the efforts so that all the crew could be tested quickly within the next few hours, but which should have been carried out just at their arrival at port.

A contradiction:

The Guardesa organization, along the lines of what the sector has repeatedly stated, points out the "contradiction" that they be recognized as an essential activity by the Government to guarantee the population the food supply, in the face of "helplessness" to know that they have to carry out their work "without the appropriate security measures".

Orpagu demands that all the sailors be tested before boarding to avoid situations like the one experienced on board the Ribel Tercero, with the risk, given the limited space of a ship, of contagion among the workers. Today the ship will be disinfected by an approved company.