‘K’ Line car carrier disinfected after master’s sudden death

Car carrier Tianjin Highway. Credit: HASENPUSCH. DIETMAR

One of ‘K’ Line’s car carriers was disinfected in Vietnam’s Hai Phong port after its Bulgarian master apparently died in his bedroom a week before the ship arrived at the port around 0600 h local time on 6 April 2020.

Hai Phong International Medical Centre is carrying out an epidemiological investigation of all the 23 surviving crew members on the 2005-built Tianjin Highway to ascertain the cause of the master’s death. Other crew members reported that the master looked normal and did not appear troubled, indicating that the demise may have been a sudden death.

Nevertheless, due to concerns arising from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Tianjin Highway, loaded with 200 cars, was disinfected after arriving in Hai Phong. The master’s body has been taken to a mortuary in Hai Phong.

The seafarers are all said to be in good health. Tianjin Highway had sailed from Singapore, a transshipment centre for Japanese car makers that have manufacturing operations in Thailand.

A source from the medical centre told SAS, “We’re testing all members on board, and if they all test negative for COVID-19, the ship will dock at Tan Vu – Lach Huyen sub-port.”

If any of the seafarers test positive for COVID-19, the medical centre will ask port authorities and the department of health for instructions on the next steps.

‘K’ Line, Japan’s third-largest shipping group, did not respond for comment.