A GEORGIAN seafarer is believed to have jumped from the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Kanpur (IMO 9299771) on Sunday night in Port Phillip Bay.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said Water Police members rescued the 31-year-old.

“[He] was found by the Air Wing about five kilometres from the dock clinging to a navigational marker about 7.50pm,” the spokesperson said.

“Officers from the Water Police pulled the man from the water and conveyed him to Williamstown where he was medically assessed. The man was taken to hospital accompanied by Australian Border Force officials who were assisting the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria.

“It is expected the man will be transferred to mandatory quarantine once released from hospital. As a precaution the police officers who were in contact with the man have since isolated.”

A spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told DCN it is aware that a seafarer jumped into the water from the Liberian-flagged vessel MV Kanpur while it was at anchor in Port Phillip Bay on Sunday night (9 May 2021).

“Victorian Police co-ordinated the rescue of the seafarer from the water and it is understood that he is currently in quarantine under the care of the state health department,” the spokesperson said.

“AMSA will inspect the ship when it is due to come alongside in port tomorrow (12 May 2021).”

International Workers’ Federation assistant Australia co-ordinator Matt Purcell said the ITF is working with relevant authorities to determine the reason a seafarer jumped overboard from the Kanpur and what support he and the rest of the crew require.

“The vessel is currently at anchor but is due to berth tomorrow (Wednesday 12 May). Once that occurs, representatives of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Border Force, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and the ITF will undertake an inspection of the vessel and interview crew members,” Mr Purcell said.

“The ITF is also in discussions with the vessel manager, Cyprus-based Columbia Ship Management, along with our Latvian union affiliate which has a collective agreement covering the vessel’s crew.”

Mr Purcell said it would be inappropriate to comment further until the ITF had an opportunity to speak with the seafarer involved, and the rest of the crew, to better understand his motivation for jumping overboard.

“We will also be seeking to ensure all appropriate assistance is provided to the remainder of the crew, including addressing any issues that may have contributed to this incident occurring,” Mr Purcell said.

An Australian Border Force spokesperson confirmed that the vessel Kanpur arrived at anchorage in Melbourne from New Zealand on 5 May 2021. The spokesperson said the ABF does not comment on individual cases and that quarantine arrangements are a matter for each state and territory. 

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria confirmed to DCN that it was “supporting a maritime worker in hotel quarantine”.