Eight on ship in Firth of Forth test positive for coronavirus

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines say a further six crew members on its ship Black Watch are awaiting Covid-19 test results.

Eight crew members on a cruise ship moored in the Firth of Forth have tested positive for Covid-19.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines said those on board its ship Black Watch are following Public Health England guidance and workers who have tested positive or are feeling ill are not undertaking any duties.

A further six crew members are awaiting test results.

Around 60 crew remain on the ship, which is one of four of the company’s liners currently anchored in the Firth of Forth while sailings are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These include the Braemar, which was hit by the virus in the Caribbean last month, with hundreds of passengers flown back to the UK.

A spokesman for the company said: “Fred Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that a number of crew members aboard its ship Black Watch have tested positive for Covid-19 coronavirus.

“Eight crew members have tested positive, and we are awaiting the results for six others.

“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.”

The company announced last week that Black Watch, Balmoral, Boudicca, and Braemar are being temporarily anchored in the Firth of Forth near the Port of Rosyth.

Each ship is retaining a “small team on board to continue essential operations”.

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.”

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