Crude Oil Tanker Quarantined in Spain With Outbreak of COVID-19

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The Suezmax crude oil tanker Eco Beverly Hills is being held in quarantine at the port of Castellón, Spain after members of its crew were reported to have symptoms of COVID-19. 

The vessel arrived in Spain on July 15 after a two-week voyage from the oil fields in Nigeria. The vessel had departed the port of Escravos at the end of June heading for the BP refinery. Upon reaching the port, the captain reported that crew members were showing symptoms of the virus.

Port authorities are now confirmed that eight members of the crew are positive for cases of COVID-19 and that the vessel will remain at anchor for a mandatory two-week quarantine.

The tanker had been delivered to her owners, TOP ships of Athens, just over a year ago. Built at the Hyundai Samho shipyard in South Korea, the 157,000 dwt tanker is the 14 vessel in TOP’s fleet and one of the first scrubber-fitted Suezmax vessels according to Evangelos Pistiolis, the president and chief executive officer of the company. It was the last of the company’s scheduled new build and was expected to be chartered to one of the major oil companies after delivery in May 2019.

The latest incident reported of COVID-19 among seafarers, it highlights the ongoing challenge for operators to continue service during the public health emergency. Earlier this week, Hapag-Lloyd reported that it has confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 aboard the U.S.-flagged boxships Philadelphia Express and St. Louis Express. The Philadelphia Express is currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia while the St. Louis Express is currently in the anchorage outside Savannah, Georgia. 

Earlier in July, the Danish-owned product tanker Samus Swan was quarantined at the port of Algeciras due to seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board. Chinese officials were also reporting 11 cases of the virus when the MSC Flavia arrived in Ningbo, China on June 26.

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