COVID-related yacht incidents in Australia and Solomon Islands

Two incidents involving COVID-19-related cases occurred in Australia and the Solomon Islands last month (December 2020).

The former concerned the 74.5-metre (244-foot) Lady E built by Amels in 2006. In the lead-up to the festive break, two cases of COVID-19 were detected among the crew while she was off Cairns in Queensland. A quick response from the local health authorities meant that after an appropriate quarantine period, the two crew members recovered and have now rejoined the yacht.

James Kennedy, captain of Lady E, reportedly praised the authorities for their “effective and thorough processing of the ship and the crew,” according to the Cairns Post. He said, “We continue to work closely with Queensland Health in resolving this matter and fully understand and support the state’s robust protocols and procedures.”

Lady E is currently on an extended cruise through Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, taking in the America’s Cup in Auckland before returning to the Caribbean.

In the Solomon Islands, three foreign yacht sailors were arrested and charged by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force for breaking entry laws under the State of Public Emergency in the country. The incident dates back to the early part of December but they were detained, and their court case was held through late December.

The Solomon Times Online quoted Mostyn Mangau, Commissioner of Police, who said, “It was alleged that the three foreigners were travelling in two separate yachts together earlier this month and were seen anchored at Baralau Island, Aola. According to information received, both yachts departed from Denarau port in Fiji on 18th November 2020 and arrived in Solomon Islands 1st December 2020. The matter was reported to police and patrol boat Gizo has been sent to escort the two foreign yachts.”

Mangau added, “Upon arrival of the yachts, Immigration, Customs and Police conducted a joint search after a thorough clearance by health authorities. The crews were quarantined prior to their arrest. Concerning their entry, there was no application received by the Oversight Committee from the yachts and there was no permission given.”

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Source: IBI News

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