THE UK-flagged gas tanker Inge Kosan is expected to dock at Brisbane on 3 May after an outbreak on board.
The vessel arrived at Port Botany on 31 March, where it remained for 24 hours before leaving for Vanuatu. There, on 11 April a crewmember was found washed ashore, dead and COVID-19 positive. The cause of his death is still unknown.
It wasn’t until 22 April that NSW Ports required all port workers that came into contact with the vessel to undergo COVID-19 tests. All returned negative results.
Inge Kosan was given permission to enter Queensland waters and anchor off Brisbane on 26 April.
Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Angus Mitchell said Inge Kosan is presently at anchor at the Brisbane outer anchorage off Point Cartwright (Mooloolaba).
“Test results from Tuesday, 27 April indicated that 11 of 12 crew aboard the Inge Kosan have evidence of recent or past COVID infection,” he said.
“Queensland Health have undertaken further analysis of serology for all crew as well as evidence associated with symptoms with the crew having achieved the required national standard for release from quarantine.”
Mr Mitchell said the 14th day of quarantine for the seafarers was Friday 30 April and the vessel owners have advised its next port of call would be Brisbane.
“MSQ has deemed the vessel will be permitted to enter Brisbane for cargo operations from Saturday 1 May, dependent upon normal port operational requirements,” Mr Mitchell said.
“As the remaining on-board seafarers have surpassed the requirements for release from quarantine, this now opens the door for seafarers to be granted shore leave for the duration of their time in Brisbane subject to operational requirements.”
Mr Mitchell said the previously identified negative crew member is now in a Brisbane quarantine hotel undergoing a full 14 days of quarantine.
“Having not shown evidence of previous COVID infection nor the associated anti-bodies this crew member must be treated as a possible close contact to confirmed cases requiring standard isolation protocols,” he said.
“Queensland Health and Maritime Safety Queensland will continue to monitor all crew members, and manage the vessel during the quarantine period. MSQ has liaised with Brisbane’s Mission to Seafarers to offer support to both the hotel quarantined seafarer as well as remaining crew on board,” Mr Mitchell said.
“Ensuring all seafarers visiting Queensland ports receive medical assessment, and treatment when required remains a primary focus for MSQ.”