The Captain of Ital Libra was caught in Covid's grasp of death. After the Asian ports refused to welcome the containership, his body remains were repatriated.
Italia Marittima (Evergreen Italian unit), owned by Ital Libera, was reported to have Covid-19 cases aboard it. According to the May 6 Hapag-Llyod advisory, the vessel was in a 14-day quarantine, anchored in Jakarta. This Italian-flagged vessel was moving towards Asia, after departing from Durban, South Africa.
On Monday, Hapag-Llyod said that the passing away of the captain had made the Asian ports unwilling to accept the vessel. The ship then changed course, diverting towards Italy and Europe.
Captain Angelo Capurro, was onboard after a crew change in South Africa. Ital Libra had at least two of its crew members who tested Covid positive. After a 14-day quarantine in the sea, the captain was reported to have died off the coast of Jakarta.
Evergreen company Italia Marittima (ship's owner), accompanied by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requested Asian and some other countries to let the vessel release the body for repatriation. Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa, South Korea, and the Philippines all denied the request, according to the Nautilus reports.
Following this, the ship's owner then announced force majeure on its sails, changing the vessel's course towards Italy from Indonesia. Another vessel is facing the same issue, with its captain having expired. The vessel is at a halt in China.
"This is not the first case of a seafarer's body not being returned to their family. A similar case involves the Romanian master of the general cargo ship Vintage Waved, who died of cardiac arrest on board in April. "The ship is still anchored in China, awaiting disembarkation approval," said David Heindel (chairman-seafarer section, ITF).
"Situations such as this call for a strong reaction from the industry and labor. These countries live off of our labor to transport the necessary materials needed for the functions of their citizens and economy, but when it's not convenient, they turn their backs on us without care," added David.