Trawler captain refutes COVID claims

17.11.2020 - 13:07
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Jóhannes Jónsson - RÚV
The requested maritime inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak on board the freezer trawler Júlíus Geirmundsson will begin in Ísafjörður on 23rd November, the Reykjanes District Court decided on Friday. The ship’s captain is vocally critical of the inquiry, saying that crewmembers’ unions are specifically out to humiliate him.

Five unions called for the maritime inquiry after the widely-publicised coronavirus outbreak on the trawler, which continued fishing and did not return immediately to land. A maritime inquiry is an examination of witnesses in front of a court to establish the series of events surrounding incidents on board ships. Lawyers for the unions and the HG fishing company argued before the District Court last week about the purpose of, and motivations for, an inquiry in this case. 

The company’s lawyers wanted the inquiry halted because the case is already under police investigation and Westfjords police have already interviewed all crew. 

The unions’ lawyers called for a copy of the ship’s log—a record of all important events on board. HG refused, saying the police already had a copy. In the end, the company handed a copy over to the judge, who will read it and decide whether it should be passed on to the unions. 

The captain’s lawyer clarified that he does not want to talk to the inquiry and RÚV has seen a statement in which he calls the process a kangaroo court. In the statement, he says it came as a shock to discover his crew had COVID-19 and he refutes claims that he deliberately put them in danger or forced them to work while ill. 

Click to follow RÚV English on Facebook.