Three crew members from COVID-ravaged ship BBC California moved into WA hotel quarantine

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Three crew members from a coronavirus-infected cargo ship have been moved to hotel quarantine in Perth after 10 of their colleagues tested positive.

The trio, who have all tested negative, were removed on Wednesday from the BBC California vessel docked in Fremantle.

A fourth crew member who has also tested negative will stay behind because of a “critical need” for an engineer to remain on the vessel.

“Protective measures are in place,” WA Health said on Wednesday.

“He will remain isolated in a cabin on a separate deck to everyone else and will use PPE when on deck and in the engine room.”

The crew members who have tested positive have previously been isolating in separate cabins with their own bathrooms.

Authorities are hopeful allowing the infected crew full access to the vessel will ensure it can be prepared for departure as soon as possible.

Health authorities are hopeful the cargo ship BBC California can leave WA as soon as possible. Credit: AAP

The BBC California left Egypt on June 8 and had visited three ports in Indonesia before docking at Fremantle Port on Monday.

Crew members were allowed to briefly disembark in small groups so they could be tested inside a shed by health officials.

An outbreak aboard a separate vessel that berthed in Fremantle earlier this month has added to health officials’ headaches.

Nine of the 21 crew aboard the Mattina container ship have since tested positive.

The ship, originating from Indonesia, docked in Fremantle from July 10 to 12 and is now in quarantine at the New Zealand port of Bluff.

Potential exposure

Twenty-five maritime workers who may have come into contact with the Mattina, including at least four people who boarded the ship, are being contacted and interviewed by WA Health officials to determine their exposure.

Premier Mark McGowan said all workers who had any contact with a vessel were required to wear appropriate protective equipment.

“The chief health officer advises if there is any risk involved with this ship, it is low,” he said.

Closed borders

WA has closed its border to NSW, Victoria and Queensland and reimposed a 14-day quarantine requirement for South Australian travellers as the eastern states deal with outbreaks of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

In one of the most daring escapes from hotel quarantine seen in Australia, a man this week tied bedsheets together to shimmy down a building.

The man, 39, arrived in Perth from Brisbane on Monday but was told to leave within 48 hours because he did not meet any of the exemptions for entry.

He was taken into hotel quarantine in Riverdale in Perth’s inner east to await a flight out of WA.

A man has made an escape from Perth hotel quarantine by climbing down a rope made from bed sheets.
A man has made an escape from Perth hotel quarantine by climbing down a rope made from bed sheets. Credit: WA Police/Supplied

Police allege he climbed out a window on the fourth floor and escaped down a rope made of bedsheets early on Tuesday before fleeing.

He was found about eight hours later in Mount Lawley, north of the city.

The man, who later tested negative for COVID-19, was charged with failing to comply with health directions and providing false and misleading information.

WA is monitoring 16 active cases.

A record 13,577 people were vaccinated on Tuesday, 7899 of whom received their second dose.

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