The Norwegian Maritime Authority has released the results of its audit looking into Hurtigruten and the events surrounding the COVID-19 incident that happened in late July involving one of the company’s cruise ships. The audit, which is the first of several investigations and independent audits, highlights one observation and seven deviations for which Hurtigruten is required to submit a plan to correct the discrepancies.
Fulfilling its promise to provide full transparency, Hurtigruten issued both a statement and published the results of the audit on its website in Norwegian. The company acknowledges the findings, and while noting the authority says that Hurtigruten has been responsive since the incident, promises to take action to address the issues.
“What the Norwegian Maritime Authority points out is serious and shows that we must improve,” says CEO Daniel Skjeldam in Hurtigruten’s written response. “This is the first important step on the road to getting all the answers on the table and getting all aspects of our operation improved. We are now awaiting the external investigation, which will give us even more answers and a broader basis for the work we have ahead of us.”
Among the key findings of the Norwegian Maritime Authority’s audit are failures in several areas of safety policy, adherence to code, and implementation of prepared protocols. The authority starts with a discussion that Hurtigruten did not conduct a risk assessment before starting its expedition cruises in July. Given the challenges of managing and operating during the pandemic the authority says, and also points out that Hurtigruten’s procedures also indicated, that a risk assessment should have been performed.
The incident under review began during the last week of July on the company’s second expedition cruise aboard the Roald Amundsen. Crew members aboard the ship reported not feeling well and were put in isolation while onshore Norwegian authorities informed Hurtigruten that a passenger that had been aboard the ship the prior week tested positive for the virus. Hurtigruten made its first public statements on Friday, July 31 acknowledging that crew members had tested positive for COVID-19, but only made the statement after the passengers had disembarked and some had begun to travel from Tromso, Norway to their homes. Other passengers were still in the airport and were notified and placed in quarantine as well as given tests. In total, 29 passengers who had sailed aboard the two cruises and 42 crew members ultimately tested positive.
Looking at the specific COVID-19 incident, the audit says, “The reporting culture does not seem to have worked as it should in connection with the incident.” The audit says that it appears on July 29, two days before the ship arrived in Tromso, employees of the shipping company suspected COVID-19 infections on board but it was not reported further in the organization. They note that management said they had not received an official report that there was a suspicion, but the audit calls into question adherence to the reporting process and safety culture.
The audit also says as early as July 21 crew members were ill and in the ship’s hospital. Although none of them had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the audit still finds that the ship failed to log it and no suspicion of COVID-19 was reported. The company’s protocol said that in the event of a suspicion or discovery of COVID-19 the ship’s doctor must follow the reporting routines and inform the ship’s captain who in turn shall inform the company through operation management without delay. “It emerged in the interviews,” the report says, “that notification routines for suspicion of COVID-19 infection were not followed on board the Roald Amundsen.”
The audit believes that the reporting lines and lines of responsibility in relation to certain procedures were unclear to some people. During the audit, they say that some individuals were unclear on who and when they should be reporting incidents.
Further, the Norwegian Maritime Authority says that it believes the emergency preparedness did not work as planned once the incident was confirmed. The emergency organization was not implemented immediately on July 31, but the authority says Hurtigruten worked well in the aftermath of the incident.
“It is worrying that the Norwegian Maritime Directorate questions whether the safety culture was well enough incorporated into the organization. Shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen, we stepped up our efforts to ensure routines and better follow-up of these,” says Asta Lassesen, who became acting operations director and acting general manager of Hurtigruten Cruise in August after the company asked another executive to relinquish his roles during the investigation. Lassesen now leads the operations of Hurtigruten and is overseeing the company’s efforts to enhance its programs.
The Norwegian Maritime Authority has said that Hurtigruten must submit a plan to correct the discrepancies by September 21. The authority will review and approve the plan and the steps should be implemented to correct the discrepancies by November 24.
This will be the first of several reports looking at the events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak tied to the cruise ship. Hurtigruten’s board has also retained DNV and Wiersholm, one of Norway’s largest law firms, to conduct an external investigation.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]
NOAA Fisheries announced Friday that it will cancel five out of its six large-scale research surveys in Alaskan waters this year due to COVID-19. The canceled surveys include the Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey, the eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the Bering Sea pollock acoustics survey, and […]