Four deaths on beleaguered cruise ship in search of a port

A modern day Flying Dutchman

 
1,212Views 5Comments Posted 27/03/2020

Four elderly passengers  have  of coronavirus died on board the cruise ship "Zaandam",  anchored off the coast of Panama and, like the legendary Flying Dutchman, unable to find a berth, after being rejected in several Latin American ports  and now denied transit through the Panama Canal   said the ship’s owners the Holland-America Line

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and we are doing everything we can to support them in these difficult times, ”the company said in a statement on its website on Friday, March 27.

The cruise ship, with some 1,800 people on board, including over 40  with flu-like symptoms, is in Panamanian waters, where it is being assisted at sea by another company vessel  “Rotterdam”, which sailed from  San Diego, in the United States, with supplies, staff and test kits for coronavirus.

The company indicated in the statement that it plans to transfer "healthy passengers" from the "Zaandam" to "Rotterdam" after they have passed health tests.

Passengers with health problems, their close contacts and the crew will remain in the "Zaandam”, added Holland America Line.

The administrator of the Panama Canal, Ricaurte Vásquez, reported that the Panamanian government denied the Dutch-flagged ship transit through the Canal for reasons of "sanitation."

"The Ministry of Health did not give permission, the ship is in Panamanian territorial waters, but it has to be isolated," Vásquez said in a conference call with journalists.

"They have not informed us if there are positive cases of coronavirus on board, but they have said  that the ship cannot transit) for health reasons," added Vásquez.

The "Zaandam" set sail on March 7 from Buenos Aires to San Antonio, on the central coast of Chile, but had to alter its course due to the drastic measures taken by the South American governments against the expansion of the coronavirus. tried to dock at several ports, but found that all South American countries were closing their borders due to the pandemic.

It intended to cross the Canal to continue its route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hoping to disembark all of its passengers there on March 30.

But the Panama Ministry of Health has denied that possibility.

On Thursday, the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) granted permission cruise ship  to be assisted eight miles from the mainland by the "Rotterdam

 

 



Comments 5

user
positiveirish@gmail.com

29 MARCH 2020 JUST REALISING TO YOUR REPORT OF THE BEAUTIFUL SHIP ARRIVED IN PANAMA WITH 4 VERY SICK PERSONS WHO NEED ATTENTION URGENT, WHY HAVE THE PANAMIAN GOVT NOT ENVEENED AND HELPS THESE PEOPLE WHO MAY BE BRITISH AND IRISH OR WHOEVER REFUSED TO BE HELPED, AND GOD FORBIT BY NOW HAVE DIED, AND YOU SAY THEY COULD'NT DOCK A AT PANAMA AND WHY?? THESE PEOPLE DID'NT KNOW WHEN THEY BOOKED THE CRUISE WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AND SURELY THE GOVT IN PANAMA IS RESPONSIBLE, I WILL NOT BE TAKING A CRUISE ANYTIME SOON TO BE TREATED LIKE THESE PEOPLE NOW ON THEIR WAY TO FLORIDA AND TO AMASTERDAM AND WHAT THEN? DISCUSSED WITH THE PANAMA CANAL PERSONAL WHO SHOULD HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE.

Last month
user
positiveirish@gmail.com

29 MARCH 2020 JUST REALISING TO YOUR REPORT OF THE BEAUTIFUL SHIP ARRIVED IN PANAMA WITH 4 VERY SICK PERSONS WHO NEED ATTENTION URGENT, WHY HAVE THE PANAMIAN GOVT NOT ENVEENED AND HELPS THESE PEOPLE WHO MAY BE BRITISH AND IRISH OR WHOEVER REFUSED TO BE HELPED, AND GOD FORBIT BY NOW HAVE DIED, AND YOU SAY THEY COULD'NT DOCK A AT PANAMA AND WHY?? THESE PEOPLE DID'NT KNOW WHEN THEY BOOKED THE CRUISE WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AND SURELY THE GOVT IN PANAMA IS RESPONSIBLE, I WILL NOT BE TAKING A CRUISE ANYTIME SOON TO BE TREATED LIKE THESE PEOPLE NOW ON THEIR WAY TO FLORIDA AND TO AMASTERDAM AND WHAT THEN? DISCUSSED WITH THE PANAMA CANAL PERSONAL WHO SHOULD HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE.

Last month
user
Captain

How very Christian of you Oh ya . Now is the time we should be helping each other not throwing stones. There is absolutely no danger to Panama or its Canal through permitting transit of this vessel Its a floating steel box which if you like can be likened to an ambulance on our roads. Why would we be scared of it ? None of the passengers or crew would be stepping ashore and therefore social distance would be maintained. The sole interaction would be the pilot and wheelhouse crew. The pilot would self quarantine ...they would earn the break ..after the the transit. Lock crews and tugs would again not be interacting with the crew or passengers. On the other hand Panamá would show its humanity and the canal I am sure would be mindful that these ships which provide now a significant and growing source of revenues are owned by those we will be encouraging to return when all this is over. Why are we so scared of a floating box that we treat those aboard with so little human kindness.

Last month
user
Oh ya

Anyone boarding a ship at their boarding date is too stupid to live. Send it around the cape .panama did the right thing by not letting it in

Last month
user
Oh ya

Anyone boarding a ship at their boarding date is too stupid to live. Send it around the cape .panama did the right thing by not letting it in

Last month
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