26 September 2023

Police brush up Ruby review

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The NSW Police Force has updated the public on its investigation into the Ruby Princess cruise ship and appealed for assistance from passengers on the last two voyages to assist with ongoing inquiries.

A spokesperson for the Police said detectives from across State Crime, Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics and Marine Area Commands were conducting the inquiries under Strike Force Bast surrounding the docking and disembarking of the Ruby Princess at Sydney Harbour on 19 March.

“The priority of the investigation is to determine whether there was criminal negligence by the company or crew relevant to health issues prevailing on the ship,” the spokesperson said.

“As well as any actions or omissions by any other entity… which may have directly or indirectly related to the death of a person from COVID-19,” they said.

“Information from the vessel’s voyage data recorder (black box)… is currently undergoing forensic examination.”

The spokesperson said investigators had provided a survey to the crew currently on board the vessel, to assist with guiding relevance of information.

They said witness statements would be obtained remotely, as required.

“Strike force investigators will also reach out in coming days to passengers from both the 24 February to 8 March and 8 to 19 March voyages to conduct a similar survey,” the spokesperson said.

“All passengers who receive the investigator’s electronic survey request are encouraged to complete it as soon as possible.”

The spokesperson said the inquiries were expected to include the canvass of about 7,000 people; the analysis of thousands of pages of documentation; and analysis of hundreds of hours of footage.

They said the information gathered may also be referred to the NSW Government’s Special Commission of Inquiry.

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