Testing times

A ship was put into Manila anchorage en route to a discharge port for a crew change as there were Filipino crew on board. The crew change at Manila was organised by the ship manager, through an appointed port agent. All the prescribed Covid-19 protocols were followed.

Once back en route the ship sent its port entry and free pratique documentation to the discharge port agent for arranging the inward clearance. The agent and authorities discovered in the documentation that a Covid-19 test result for one of the crew members, signed-on at  Manila, was positive.

Evidently, one of the joining crew members had tested positive for Covid-19 but the Covid-19 positive test was overlooked. It was not noticed by the ship manager, the port agent at Manila, the health and immigration authorities or the Master. It was only identified by the discharge port agent.

The ship had to return to Manila in order to test the entire crew and replace them as necessary. The ship also had to be disinfected before resuming the voyage. This resulted in about five days additional steaming at sea plus about six days at Manila.

The ship owners claimed about US$ 350,000 losses from the managers. However, ultimately a settlement was negotiated, as many parties failed to spot the positive test – including the owners themselves.

The manager settled the claim for US$ 175,000, which was reimbursed by ITIC.

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