Ship Crew Member Arrested In Australia For Swimming To Port And Breaking COVID Rules

In a surprisingly frightening incident, a seafarer has jumped from his ship and swam to port breaching all COVID protocols in Australia.

The alleged bulk carrier crew has been arrested and would be appearing in court, said Premier Mark McGowan who termed the incident unusual and reaffirmed that it’s not a risk to the community.

Jumped Off Anchored Ship

The alleged incident happened when the 37 years old Vietnamese crew jumped into the sea from a bulk carrier anchored at Albany port on Saturday. The bulk carrier had anchored at the port 2 days prior to the incident.

Seafarer Sailor Silhouette
Representation Image

At present crews are not allowed to WA land because of COVID quarantine protocols

Seafarer Found in Backpackers Lodge

West Australia police later found the seafarer at an Albany backpackers lodge on Saturday evening at around 7 pm. The police placed him in quarantine and tested him for COVID which came negative. McGowan reaffirmed that the seafarer wasn’t a COVID transmission risk in the community.

Not A Threat To Community

No new cases were detected inside or outside of the hotel quarantine and McGowan said it was a ‘hard to stop’ unusual case where “the individual in question jumped off the ship into the water and swam ashore”.

Ship Ban Ruled Out

The Premier struck down speculations of marine vessels ban for ships that can’t assure of strict COVID protocol followed by the crew.

“We’ve had thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of ships coming to Western Australia over the course of the last year while we’ve dealt with COVID . This is the only time I’m aware of someone jumping off a ship into the water and swimming ashore. Clearly, that was not something anyone would have predicted”, McGowan further said.

The Vietnamese seafarer will be appearing in Perth magistrates court as he was charged for not complying to COVID norms.

A similar COVID violation by a 31-year-old man who abused hospital staff is also under consideration at the Perth court along with the seafarer’s case The man has allegedly removed his mask and abused the hospital staff at Midland Hospital earlier on Saturday

No Undetecting Virus Circulating

Further speculations of reopening the Queensland border have been also dismissed by McGowan.

Meanwhile, Queensland is hoping that a Brisbane quarantine hotel cleaner hasn’t spread the UK Strain to the community

“I can’t make that commitment. Clearly, they’ve had to have a pretty big testing regime. But we aren’t at the point in time to say that we would open up to Queensland. That would be subject to health advice.”

Earlier West Australia had a 28 day buffer period in case of reopening borders to NSW, Victoria, and South Australia in order to prevent community transmission.

So far no local case from the infected cleaner has been reported in Queensland. However, McGowan reiterated that no undetected virus is circulating.


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