Ship quarantined at Rotterdam port after possible Covid-19 death

Rotterdam police at the Saipem FDS in Waalhaven after a possible Covid-19 death on board, 10 April 2020
Rotterdam police at the Saipem FDS in Waalhaven after a possible Covid-19 death on board, 10 April 2020Politie Rotterdam, @Politie_RdamTwitter

This story was updated.

The crew of a ship was quarantined in the Waalhaven in Rotterdam on Friday after a man died on the ship, initially suspected of being linked to coronavirus. A crew member tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday and was transferred to Erasmus MC, the Rotterdam police said on Twitter. 

The vessel involved is the Saipem FDS, the company which operates the ship confirmed in a statement to NL Times. Saipem confirmed that one crew member did produce a positive test for coronavirus, but denied that the victim's cause of death was related. "The colleague, who had no symptoms attributable to Covid-19, died unexpectedly during the night," Saipem said.

Rotterdam police said a forensic investigation showed the man died of natural causes. Of the 77 crew members on the ship, 13 recently showed symptoms of Covid-19 and were all placed in isolation, according to regional broadcaster Rijnmond.

"Saipem had already taken steps to apply the strictest protocols to verify the existence of Covid-19 cases on board the vehicle itself," the company said.

The Saipem FDS is an offshore vessel that sails under the flag of the Bahamas. It is currently  moored at a transhipment company on Kesterenstraat, according to the broadcaster. It sailed from Schiedam to Rotterdam earlier this week, after spending two weeks in Schiedam.

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