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Tanker Held Off Australia for COVID-19 Testing

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 16, 2020

© Seongwoo Seo /

© Seongwoo Seo /

An oil tanker is being held off the coast of Australia pending the results of crew COVID-19 tests.

The Hong Kong-flagged Haruna Express was denied permission to enter Sydney's Port Botany and ordered to remain offshore following reports stating a number of crew members on board had been displaying coronavirus symptoms. The vessel will not be allowed entry into the New South Wales port until negative results are confirmed for all crew members, local authorities said.

On Thursday, NSW Police Force’s Marine Area Command deployed Police Launch WP25 to deliver COVID-19 test kits to the 28,000-tonne tanker, which was situated 3 nautical miles off the coast of Sydney and awaiting clearance to dock.

The ship, which originated from South Korea, has 21 Indian and Russian crew members on board, and they were all swabbed according to NSW Health instructions.

WP25 returned to Marine Area Command where the swabs were handed over to NSW Health for analysis.

Marine Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Joseph Mcnulty, said the operation was another reminder that police, in coordination with other government agencies, continue to manage the risk that COVID-19 poses to the community of NSW.

“The Marine Area Command leads the management of any maritime COVID-19 risk within NSW waters and this ship remains offshore until we receive the all clear from NSW Health and other relevant authorities,” Mcnulty said.

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