WA Premier Mark McGowan
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  • WA authorities are working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on a ship docked in Fremantle Port, with 10 out of the 14 crew members testing positive
  • The cargo ship from Indonesia docked in WA several days ago
  • All of the crew are being tested and isolating onboard the ship, but four of the crew could be removed for their own safety and placed in hotel quarantine
  • A second ship berthed in Fremantle is also under investigation, after nine of the crew members on board tested positive for COVID-19 in New Zealand
  • Meanwhile, police in Perth have charged a man after he allegedly broke out of hotel quarantine by tying together bed sheets and escaping via a window

WA authorities are working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak aboard a ship docked in Fremantle Port, with 10 out of the 14 crew members testing positive.

The BBC California berthed in Fremantle earlier this week after leaving from Indonesia bound for Kwinana and then Newcastle.

All of the crew onboard have been tested for the virus and isolated within the ship. However WA Premier Mark McGowan said he was considering evacuating the healthy crew.

Mr McGowan said on Tuesday that the four healthy crew members might be removed from the vessel and placed in hotel quarantine for their own safety.

“It may well be that the ship has to stay there until the existing crew members on board are better and non-infectious,” Mr McGowan said.

“Then we can put the four who we potentially take off back onto the ship, so it goes up to 14 crew members and then she can set sail.”

The Premier added his main concern was stopping COVID-19 from spreading from the ship to WA residents.

“Our number one priority is to make sure we don’t have COVID come from that ship ashore,” Mr McGowan said.

A second ship berthed in Fremantle Port was also under investigation, after nine of the crew members on board later tested positive for COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Premier McGowan said he had been advised that the ship was in Perth only for a short time and the risk associated with the vessel was very low.

“I want to stress that it is standard operating procedure to treat every ship that visits WA as if it may be carrying the virus,” Mr McGowan said.

Meanwhile, police in Perth have arrested and charged a 39-year-old man after he allegedly tried to escape hotel quarantine by crafting a rope out of bed sheets and abseiling out of a window.

Source: WA Police

Officers said the man arrived in WA from Queensland without a proper travel exemption pass and was placed in quarantine temporarily until he could be flown home.

He allegedly climbed out of the hotel quarantine window in the early hours of July 20, before police caught up with the man a short time later in nearby Mt Lawley.

The man has been charged with three offences and was due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

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