Trawler crew tested positive for Covid-19 after landing in West Cork

Trawler crew tested positive for Covid-19 after landing in West Cork
A Coronavirus warning sign on a fishing vessel advises of contacting the skipper of the trawler before boarding the boat. Picture: Andy Gibson

A CORK South West TD has raised concerns after the crew of a fishing vessel that landed in west Cork were later found to have Covid-19.

Speaking in the Dáíl, Independent TD Michael Collins said that just days after the trawler landed in Castletownbere more than half of its 15 crew tested positive for Covid-19, and it has been quarantined in a Spanish Port since Friday as a result.

“The vessel left its home port on 10 April to fish in Irish waters. 

"It was among a fleet of some 40 Spanish vessels that spent several days in mid-April fishing in an area of the ocean approximately 40 nautical miles south west of Mizen Head,” Deputy Collins said.

“The vessel headed to Castletownbere to land its catch of mostly hake and monkfish and arrived on 21 April. 

"It spent three hours tied up before setting out to sea again,” he added.

His concern stems from the time the crew spent on-shore interacting with those involved in the industry.

“People in the fishing towns are concerned that after all their efforts to suppress the virus they could now be at risk arising out of the contacts from this vessel and the many other vessels that tie-up in Castletownbere,” Deputy Collins said.

He asked the Health Minister to clarify if there are any checks or procedures in place in respect of boats entering the jurisdiction.

The Minister Harris said he would discuss the matter with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Michael Creed, but added that “for Covid-19 to be transmitted it requires people to be in close contact for a period of time.”

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