26 September 2023

Virus ship crew heading home

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A multi-agency operation has seen the first contingent of cruise liner Ruby Princess’s crew members begin the process of repatriation to their home countries.

The joint operations were led by NSW Police Force and involved NSW Health, the Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police, Aspen Medical, Carnival Cruises and government officials from numerous overseas jurisdictions to ensure the safe movement and eventual return of the crew members to their countries of origin.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said officers from the police’s Marine Area Command, assisted by Transport for NSW, NSW Health and the Australian Defence Force, had disembarked 49 crew members from six countries.

“One of the 49 crew members has tested positive for COVID-19,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“Upon disembarkation, the crew member will be taken to a NSW Health-managed hotel to undertake a strict 14-day quarantine period,” he said.

The Commissioner said a significant number of crew members remained on the Ruby Princess as it returned to its port of origin.

“[The] operation is the culmination of a significant joint effort by a number of agencies,” he said.

“That effort will continue until we have ensured the safety and movement of every crew member, in line with their wishes.”

Commissioner Fuller said investigations under Strike Force Bast surrounding the docking and disembarking of the Ruby Princess at Sydney Harbour on 19 March were continuing.

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