The ‘Notre Dame Cedeira’ in the Port of Celeiro, Spain. Video clip: El Progreso de Lugo

The Castletownbere community has been put on high alert since the crew of a visiting foreign fishing vessel have reported positive for COVID-19.

The skipper and eight of the crew of the ‘Notre Dame Cedeira’, the fishing vessel has been at the centre of controversy in Ireland after it docked in Castletownbere on 21 April last, have tested positive for COVID-19.

 The news was confirmed by a report on Spanish website COPE.es after the fourteen crew and skipper on board the 33 metre longliner was tested by healthcare personnel at the Hospital da Mariña, based in Burela.

 The results have shown that so far that eight of the crew are infected with all the crew members being sent home to quarantine. The skipper at the centre of the controversy wanted to remain on the ship to avoid infecting his family but was told he had to quarantine elsewhere and is now residing in a local hotel.

It has been reported that the owner of the ‘Notre Dame Cedeira’ is suffering the worst effects of COVID-19 and he himself has been hospitalised in the  Hospital da Mariña.

The ‘Notre Dame Cedeira’ has been docked in the Port of Celeiro, in the town of Viveiro (Lugo) since last Friday.

It is reported that shortly after leaving the harbour in Castletownbere, the skipper reported to headquarters that he was feeling unwell and stated the symptoms of COVID-19. He was immediately advised by the owner of the ‘Notre Dame Cedeira’ to immediately return to Spain.

The French-flagged Spanish-registered longliner operates out of La Rochelle in France but her home port is in Celeiro, Spain. During its fishing trips to the west coast of Ireland it regularly lands catches into Castletownbere where it is unloaded from the boat and shipped directly to Spain.

At the vessel’s last call to Castletownbere the skipper says he did not allow any of his crew to leave the vessel or harbour area to go into town, which is a common occurrence.

Foreign fishing vessels landing in harbours like Castltownbere and Dingle have become a concern for locals who have called for tighter controls on crews of these boats as they believe that situations like occured on the 21 April are potential backdoors for COVID-19 coming into their country putting shore crews, their families and their communities in danger.

The Fishing Daily contacted with the Department of Health on Monday in regards to the concerns but so far we have recieved no reply.

Castletownbere on High Alert as foreign crew tests COVID-19 positive

by editor time to read: 6 min
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