Cruise Ship Braemar Anchors to Take On Medical Personnel and Supplies
On Saturday morning, UK-based cruise line Fred. Olsen confirmed that the vessel Braemar will anchor at a position 25 miles off the coast of Freeport, the Bahamas, in order to take on more supplies and medical personnel. Braemar was scheduled to end a cruise of the Western Caribbean in Barbados on Thursday, but she was required to change course after testing confirmed five positive cases of coronavirus on board. A former passenger who disembarked in Cartagena has also tested positive.
In a statement Saturday, the Bahamian Ministry of Transport reiterated that the Braemar will not be allowed to enter any port in The Bahamas and that no persons will be permitted to disembark the vessel. "The Government of The Bahamas reaffirms its continued commitment to take action in the best interest of the public health . . . and well-being of the Bahamian people and residents of The Bahamas," the ministry wrote.
Braemar has anchored up in order to take on more food, fuel, medication and other supplies. Her crew will restock the ship’s own medical center as well as guests’ own prescription refills, and a doctor and a nurse are scheduled to join the ship to support the onboard medical team. Two UK Foreign and Commonwealth officers have flown out to Freeport from Britain to support the authorities in The Bahamas and ensure that the operation conducted as quickly as possible.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also written letters to all British nationals on board, advising them to follow the guidance of Fred. Olsen while work continues to get guests home as soon as possible.
On Friday, Fred. Olsen suspended its global cruise operations, following the lead of multiple large and small lines around the world. As port states grow increasingly careful about travel, cruise arrivals and the potential spread of COVID-19, port calls have become much more tightly regulated - with some nations placing a pause on all large cruise ship arrivals altogether.