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Canadian OSV Crew Objects to Free Movement for American Techs

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The harbor at St. John's, Newfoundland (Michel Rathwell)

By The Maritime Executive 07-22-2020 06:48:13

The maritime industry has been pushing hard to ease regional COVID-related travel and quarantine restrictions for maritime personnel, but at least one vessel's crew believes that limits on movement are still warranted. 

According to CBC, the crew of the OSV Maersk Nexus have written a formal protest to federal regulators over their company's plan to bring aboard a team of technicians. Four American service techs from a Texas-based offshore services company are scheduled to join the vessel in St. John's on August 12, then ride on board to a shipyard in Les Méchins, Quebec, about 650 nm to the west.

Under ordinary circumstances this would be an unexceptional transit, but Texas has recorded 350,000 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, and it has seen an average of about 10,000 new cases per day over the span of the past week. As of Wednesday, the state would rank in fifth place worldwide for new daily positives if it were a nation. 

In a statement to CBC, Maersk said that the technicians would take a COVID-19 test before departing the United States, then fly to St. John's and proceed directly to a hotel. They would stay there overnight while awaiting the results of a second COVID-19 test. A Maersk manager told the broadcaster that the technicians were covered by a quarantine exemption issued by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

In late May, the province adopted a self-isolation period exemption for crewmembers and other essential workers. Others may receive specific exemptions by a special allowance protocol.

The 2010-built Maersk Nexus is a Chilean-built, Canadian-flagged vessel operated by Maersk Supply Service, the offshore services division of AP Moller-Maersk.