Crew member describes how the virus outbreak started aboard Greg Mortimer

Apr 16, 2020

Today the last passengers disembarked the cruise ship Greg Mortimer which was struck by COVID-19 outbreak. The latest report shows that 128 crew and passengers tested positive for the virus. Greg Mortimer operated by Australia's Aurora Expeditions was sailing with a total of 217 people during the last voyage, is currently near the coast of Montevideo, Uruguay. The passages left the ship, however, the crew will remain on board the ship under quarantine. What will happen with the crew and when will they return back home is still not known.

Crew Center received updates from a crew member since the beginning of the virus outbreak aboard Greg Mortimer. The crew member described the high-risk work and conditions on the ship during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The first report we received on March 24, when the crew member said the ship had one suspected case of covid19 and that the person had a high fever, after which all the guests were isolated.  The crew member raised concerns about the ship managing the situation, especially among the crew saying “ Some are taking it normally and having fun and few drinks without there masks and in contact with each other. I see that this is unacceptable. We can just pray that we don't have any covid19 onboard as its only 200 people in all and each and everyone is in contact so much that everyone might be affected.”

The next update was on March 29, when the crew member reported that the ship was in Uruguay, waiting for the authorities to give permission to disembark the guests.  The crew member said that the ship received only 6 Coronavirus test kits.

On April 2, the crew member reported that one person who tested positive for COVID-19 was medically evacuated off the ship and transferred to a hospital.

“We are around 70 crew onboard Greg Mortimer anchored in Uruguay with almost 130 guests onboard.  The guest cannot disembark due to the high level of fever we have onboard and they cannot be repatriated to their country for the moment. One of the guests has been disembarked by tender boat as he pneumonia and now he tested positive.  So here around 200 people most of them are infected as we all breathe the same air. This is unacceptable that the chartered company couldn’t deal with such a situation and putting the life of the crew in danger. And we need to take care and serve the guests. We are stuck here in Uruguay with no ray of going home. Please god help us to get out of here.” says the crew member.

Today April 16 we received another report from the crew member saying that half of the crew was placed in isolation.

“ All guest disembark already. We remained with 35 crew isolated with positive COVID-19 and the rest is working.  The positive covid19 has a guest balcony cabin, 2 each in cabin, and the negative crew is still hanging on. Some test came onboard already.  We are waiting for it to be done. However as this ship was built in China, the Tv also is Chinese style. Some crew that are isolated now for more than 20 days cannot watch any movie as there is nothing for the crew on this ship. We received 2 hours of free internet per day which is good to communicate with our family but however No distractions.  Some people are going crazy onboard. We hope to go home soon. Let us request the management to do something for the crew as for the past 7months not even 1 movie was added on this TV.”