International and shipping media have reported in recent days on the worsening of the humanitarian crisis aboard cruise ships that remain anchored at sea or adrift, with their crew still on board and without a clear destination, after the outbreak of the pandemic of COVID-19.
Specifically, over the past 5 days, four deaths have been confirmed to be suicides by crew members, and the outbreak of a hunger strike.
On May 10, a Ukrainian woman working onboard Princess Rega, anchored in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, jumped off the boat and died in the impact of the water. This local media reported, after her charter flight to repatriate her home was canceled.
Another crew member of the Carnival Breeze cruise ship, in Hungary and aged 29, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his cabin on May 9.
On April 30, another man jumped off the deck of the Jewel of the Sea at anchor off the coast of Greece. He died instantly of the blow over the water, and according to the Crew-Center cruise ship crew news site, his body was not found.
In addition, a man of Chinese nationality was found dead in his cabin 4 days ago, and it is suspected that he committed suicide. It would be the fourth mysterious death in a week aboard the Mariner of the Seas, anchored in the Bahamas.
At the Navigator of the Seas, anchored off Miami, 14 crew members carry out a hunger strike demanding to be repatriated home. In another comment rescued by the Miami Herald, a crew member assures that “at this moment, we feel that we are all hostages. This company needs to understand that we are not moving food boxes. ”
Laura Poveda, a Colombian accountant who has been trapped for two months on Norwegian Epic off the coast of Miami told USA Today: “I see things are returning to normal and the CDC and the cruise company are keeping us, prisoners. here. We have no cases of (coronavirus). So why can’t we go home yet? ”
According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are still some 94,000 workers on board one hundred and twenty-four cruises around North American waters.
It is estimated that at least a thousand the number of crew infected by COVID-19 on board and in several dozen those killed in different ships around the world.
Right now, twenty Mexicans trapped in the Kiningsdam ask the Government of Mexico to let them land in Puerto Vallarta to return home after two months at sea, the cruise ship is at the local maritime terminal.
Also, it transpired that two days ago the arrivals of the Celebrity Eclipse and the Celebrity Millennium to Puerto Vallarta were canceled, where they intended to carry out a humanitarian bridge so that through charter flights from the International Airport, repatriate several of its more than a thousand 500 crew.
ARRIVAL OF TWO CRUISE SHIPS TO PUERTO VALLARTA CANCELED AFTER SAILING 1700 KM. THEY WERE LOOKING FOR HUMANITARIAN AID
Mysteriously and without any communication, neither from the Integra Port Administration (API), nor from Royal Caribbean International Ltd, the Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Millennium cruises, had their arrival in Puerto Vallarta canceled, after having sailed more than 1,700 kilometers from San Diego, United States.
And it is that, according to what the international press site for cruise ship crews revealed crew-center.com, a piece of information that Vallarta Opina later published in a local source, the scale of these two cruises that were approaching Puerto Vallarta would last 10 days, with the purpose of repatriating crew members from the city’s airport, ordering flights to the Barbados Islands, the Philippines, Canada, and Europe.
Both vessels have a total of 1,518 workers who complete at least two months without touching land due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Celebrity Eclipse, the San Diego port authority had confirmed 63 positive cases of COVID-19 on board on May 1.
However, on Monday night the Eclipse changed its status on the radar, from plotting its destination to Puerto Vallarta to being “adrift” off the Marías Islands. While this Tuesday morning, the Millennium was also adrift in front of Punta Pérula, before entering the bay.
Finally, during the afternoon their pubic itinerary marked that they would depart back to San Diego, that is to say, they made the trip from that bay without managing to return their crew home, as Celebrity Cruises, owned by Royal Caribbean Ltd., intended.
The idea of the shipping company was intended to disembark its crews in Puerto Vallarta to send them home via charter flights, as two cruises already did last March, Europa, and the Oosterdam.
But it is unknown whether it was the API, the Harbor Master’s Office or the Secretary of the Navy, who did not authorize the arrival of the Eclipse and the Millennium to Puerto Vallarta to carry out the humanitarian bridge, or was it a decision of the shipping company.
At the moment, three cruises that had originally traced their route to this tourist destination are still heading to Puerto Vallarta: the Koningsdam, the Grand Princess and the Star Princess.
And this afternoon, the Seabourn and Oosterdam are added, which have sailed from La Paz, Baja California. So there are 5 cruises on the way to the Jalisco coast.
The Kiningsdam, Grand Princess and Star Princess will arrive tomorrow, Wednesday, and the other two mentioned on Thursday, this according to their publicly shown itineraries on the radar.
This event occurs two days after the mayor of Puerto Vallarta announced that the ships that arrive would do so “only to stock up on fuel, food, and everything necessary to reach their destination.”
The foregoing, he said, as a result of a meeting he held virtually with federal and state authorities. This announcement by the mayor was made a day after Vallarta Opina published that 4 cruises are simultaneously heading to the maritime terminal of this tourist destination, and two of them would have the intention of repatriating their crew using the city’s International Airport.
20 MEXICANS ASK TO GET OFF IN VALLARTA; THEY HAVE BEEN THERE FOR TWO MONTHS. GOVERNMENT DENIES AID
Twenty Mexicans are still trapped aboard Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, waiting for the Government of Mexico to answer whether or not they will be able to get out of the nightmare of being held on the high seas via Puerto Vallarta.
However, their hopes are getting lower, since even though they have even sent via Twitter a message addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which they ask the Mexican government to give them permission to return home, the agency has not given an answer.
However, the Kiningsdam crew has revealed to the press that the Mexican port authorities have been the ones to extend a refusal to the option that the national crew could disembark.
The Koningsdam is just this Thursday anchored in front of the Hotel Zone of Marina Vallarta. And it is in a position to carry out a personnel transfer with the Grand Princess. Both arrived yesterday from California, the United States, the first with one thousand 86 crew members on board, and the second with only 276. The transfer of personnel from one ship to another was reported, would be carried out with the use of “teners” or boats of the cruises themselves.
But the nightmare of the twenty Mexicans on board began exactly two months ago, on March 13, when they set sail from New Zealand serving on the Nordam cruise ship. With the outbreak of the pandemic and the suspension of shipping operations, 700 passengers on the ship were landed, but the crew was instead taken to the deep sea, and until recently several of them transferred to Koningsdam.
One of the Mexicans is the doctor on board Marco Antonio Espinoza, who has been at sea for 63 days, he worked for a company that provided aesthetic medicine services on cruise ships, but due to the health contingency, the contract was no longer renewed, so who is now an unemployed man trapped on a ship with which he no longer has an employment relationship with.
“Please help the government to get us off the ship of which we are the crew. Starting tomorrow we will be anchored in front of Puerto Vallarta. We are a completely healthy ship that has neglected the Mexican crew, “said the Mexican, on behalf of his colleagues.
He also made it clear that they are confined to their cabins without being able to leave since April 15. The Mexican authorities, as far as is known not from statements issued, but from the cruise ship’s response, have not let their compatriots descend.
The twenty nationals are looking to obtain permission to descend in Puerto Vallarta since if this does not happen, they do not know what their whereabouts will be because the ship’s final destination is not clear, and Holland America has not published a repatriation plan.
The Mazatlan Post