Eight crew members on Black Watch ship test positive for Covid-19

14 April 2020 (Last Updated April 14th, 2020 12:20)

Eight crew members of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Black Watch ship have tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Eight crew members on Black Watch ship test positive for Covid-19
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Black Watch, Balmoral, Boudicca and Braemar are anchored near Rosyth. Credit: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

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Eight crew members of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Black Watch ship have tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The ship has no passengers on board and is moored in the estuary Firth of Forth in the UK. It is operating with the minimum number of crew required, known as ‘skeleton crew’.

The cruise line is waiting for the results of six other crew members.

Since Fred Olsen Cruise Lines suspended its operations until 23 May, four ships, including the Black Watch, have been anchored near Rosyth, Scotland.

The other ships near Rosyth are Balmoral, Boudicca and Braemar.

Fred Olsen Cruise Line spokeswoman said: “The ship is operating under the current guidance from Public Health England. Each crew member is occupying their own cabin, each with a balcony.

“There are no social gatherings on board. Crew are only leaving their cabins to perform essential duties, which includes bridge watch, engine watch and the preparation of food.

“Those who have received a positive diagnosis or who are feeling unwell are not undertaking any duties.”

Last month, the Breamar was affected by the Covid-19 in the Caribbean and its passengers were repatriated to the UK.

All 682 passengers from the cruise ship, which was docked in Havana, Cuba, were taken to the UK from the Jose Marti Airport.

A Forth Ports spokesman said: “The Black Watch is one of four Fred Olsen Cruise Lines vessels for which Forth Ports is providing safe anchorage out in the River Forth while they are non-operational.

“As the Statutory River Authority, we have instructed that the vessel remains at the anchorage until the appropriate period of self-isolation is complete.

“The ship’s owners Fred Olsen Cruise Lines are taking care of the welfare of the crew on board.”