REVEALED: Ship to dock in hours with no quarantine sorted
A quarantine location is yet to be announced by Queensland Health for a ship thats crew must come ashore in Gladstone at the weekend.
The Marshall Islands flagged MV Astra Centaurus is scheduled to dock in Gladstone on Saturday, according to Maritime Safety Queensland.
The 196 metre long bulk carrier was built in 2012 and is owned by US based Pegasus Maritime Enterprises.
The ship docked in the Korean port of Donghae for three days last month, departing on February 7, bound for the port of Cebu, in the Philippines.
On March 3, after unloading cargo in Cebu which reduced the ships draught from 11.8 metres to 6.7 metres, the Astra Centaurus set sail for Gladstone.
When the ship arrives at Gladstone, the crew must come ashore for three days while the vessel is loaded and its timber cargo fumigated.
Prior to the January UK COVID strain outbreak at Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor, the crew of the Astra Centaurus would have been accommodated at Gladstone’s Highpoint International Hotel.
The outbreak triggered a Queensland Government review into hotel quarantine and the Highpoint International was removed as a location for seafarers docked at Gladstone.
Under the Maritime Labour Convention Act, crew requiring medical treatment from any vessel has the right to come ashore.
Last month the crew of a ship docked at Gladstone was forced to stay in the hospital, as there was no other Queensland Health approved quarantine location.
Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Angus Mitchell said they were working with Queensland Health and the Queensland Police Service to deliver a positive outcome.
“The safety of all workers in the maritime sector is Maritime Safety Queensland’s prime concern,” he said.
“We have a proven record for ensuring the maritime workforce is adequately protected and the risks are minimised for both them and Queensland as a whole.
“We are expecting the arrival of bulk carrier MV Astra Centaurus about 13 March.”
A Queensland Health spokeswoman said it was working with other agencies to accommodate the crew.
“We are aware of a seafarer’s vessel off the coast of Central Queensland that is docking in mid-March,” the spokeswoman said.
“As we do with all vessels, we are working with them to ensure all their COVID requirements are met.”
Queensland Police will work with MSQ and Queensland Health to facilitate transport of the crew to the designated quarantine location.
Pegasus Maritime Enterprises has been contacted for comment.