Second ship has crew test positive for COVID-19

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
Bulk carriers are loaded with iron ore at the ship loading facility at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland in the Pilbara region, Western Australia, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Fortescue, Australia's biggest issuer of junk-rated mining bonds, is targeting investment-grade status as strength in iron ore prices lets the company cut its debt burden. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg
Camera IconBulk carriers are loaded with iron ore at the ship loading facility at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland in the Pilbara region, Western Australia, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Fortescue, Australia's biggest issuer of junk-rated mining bonds, is targeting investment-grade status as strength in iron ore prices lets the company cut its debt burden. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg Credit: Bloomberg

A crew member from an iron ore bulk carrier berthed in Port Hedland has returned a positive test for COVID-19.

The Department of Health confirmed the vessel, the Vega Dream, had a crew member transferred from the vessel and taken to the Hedland Health Campus for clinical care overnight.

The crew member returned a positive COVID-19 test result via a rapid test, with the sample now on its way to Perth to also be run in the laboratory.

While a laboratory-confirmed positive result is anticipated, it is not yet confirmed.

The result from the laboratory test will be known tomorrow.

Based on the current information, the State Health Incident Coordination Centre has declared a new outbreak.

The person is stable, isolated from general hospital population and has not had contact with the public.

The vessel has a crew of 20, with the remaining 19 seafarers still on board the Vega Dream.

The Vega Dream is fully loaded with iron ore and must leave its berth in the port by 3pm today.

The future movement of the vessel and whether it will sail, or anchor offshore, will be determined by the shipping agent and the Pilbara Port Authority in line with public health advice.

It comes after the a bulk manganese carrier, the Patricia Oldendorff, had 17 of their 21 crew test positive to COVID.

The ship spent close to two weeks anchored off the Port Hedland coast while 12 of the 21 crew were placed in quarantine at the Hedland Hotel.

The Oldendorff left Port Hedland early this morning.

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