A SEAFARER on Sunday was evacuated from the bulk carrier Aquagenie off the coast of Karratha after a positive COVID-19 test, while Western Australian authorities have prohibited the vessel from docking in the state.

According to local media, the seafarer, reported to be a man in his 50s, was assessed in Karratha before being taken to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment.

Authorities in Western Australia on 12 April issued directions to prohibit the vessel from entering WA waters and prohibit crew members to enter the state without approval from the state chief health officer. Aquagenie was headed to Port Walcott.

WA Premier Mark McGowan was quoted by the ABC saying the ship reported all remaining crew onboard were well.

“We’ve advised the captain of the Aquagenie to remain in Commonwealth waters, our expectation is the ship will leave,” he said.

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AMSA said its involvement with the ship has been limited to facilitating the medical evacuation of the COVID-positive seafarer. The authority also said it was working closely with the ship’s master and WA agencies to ensure the welfare of the crew remaining onboard.

However, it recently came to light that a member of the crew sent the International Transport Workers’ Federation a letter that said the seafarer who tested positive didn’t isolate himself properly and put the rest of the crew in danger.

The letter said the master did not take the threat seriously.

Local media quoted MUA WA branch secretary Will Tracy praising the ship’s whistleblower, saying sending the letter was a courageous act.

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