There has been a COVID-19 outbreak on the bulk carrier TZAREVNA. The ship’s cook has reportedly lost his life after contracting the disease. Reports indicate that the entire has tested positive for the virus. At present, the vessel is at Varna Anchorage, Bulgaria, having recently arrived from Ukraine. It is unknown how the remaining 17 crew members are doing and what symptoms they may be experiencing.
There have been other incidents involving COVID-19 outbreaks on a vessel. There was an outbreak of COVID-19 on the chemical tanker ship BOW SUMMER. One crew member is believed to have died from the disease on October 18, 2021. At least three crew members were evacuated from the container ship ROME EXPRESS due to a COVID-19 outbreak on board.
Safe maritime companies must take precautions in order to ensure the safety of their crew members. When ship operators fail to consider the risks of a disease outbreak on their vessels, dangerous incidents can result. This not only puts the lives of hardworking seamen at risk, but can also endanger members of the public. During a global pandemic such as this one, safe companies MUST provide necessary medical treatment for their crew members, as well as implement adequate safety protocols and measures regarding COVID-19 on the vessel. One of the most crucial periods is during crew changes when new individuals are boarding the vessel.
The custom and practice of the maritime industry, as well as government standards, place upon maritime employers a duty to provide necessary medical care to their crew members. Similarly, maritime employers and vessel operators must have adequate procedures in place to minimize the risks of exposure to infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Safe maritime companies must have planned and trained for shipboard medical situations so that a vessel captain can respond appropriately to any COVID-19 outbreak on board the vessel.
A captain is ultimately responsible for the health and safety of his/her passengers and crew members. Mariners like the captain on board this vessel may not be a physician, but they are responsible for promptly assessing the seriousness of and responding appropriately to medical
emergencies so that crew members can receive timely treatment for their injuries and illnesses. As
acknowledged by industry guidelines, a major responsibility of the ship’s officer is to ensure a timely assessment and treatment of medical emergencies at sea.
Vessel owners are responsible for training the captain and crews on how to respond to onboard medical emergencies and equipping them with the knowledge to do so quickly and effectively.
Our experienced lawyers handle maritime personal injury and wrongful death litigation of all kinds and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another party. The lawyers of Spagnoletti Law Firm have handled maritime lawsuits throughout the country. Our attorneys have previously filed wrongful death lawsuits arising from exposure to COVID-19 while on a vessel.
The experienced and aggressive vessel accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a ship. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to maritime injuries, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your rights.