Hurtigruten has reported that the Norwegian Maritime Directorate’s (NMD) investigation of the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the Roald Amundsen uncovered seven deviations and failures in several areas to carry out health and safety protocols and procedures and ISM-Code compliance.
The company said that is working to correct its systems and any deviations within the three months it has been given by the NMD.
“What the NMD has pointed out is serious and shows that we must improve,” said CEP Daniel Skjeldam in a prepared statement. “These are the first steps toward transparency and the improvement of all aspects of our operation. We are now awaiting an external investigation that will give us more information and broader basis for the work that is ahead of us.”
Hurtigruten has hired DNV GL and a law firm to conduct the external investigation.
The NMD initiated an audit based on the COVID-19 outbreak on the Roald Amundsen at the end of the July and because of how this was handled by Hurtigruten.
While finding what it called deviations and failures, the NMD can, based on the number of deviations, deny Hurtigruten ships to sail. However, in this case, the deviations were not serious enough for the NMD to issue a no sail order, Hurtigruten stated.
The company said it must present a plan to correct the deviations by Sept. 21, and the corrections must be implemented by Nov. 24.
The NMD listed some of the deviations and failures:
There was no risk assessment carried out before the start-up of cruise service in July, despite the pandemic situation, a reduced workforce ashore, foreign crew that were not put through a quarantine period as required, constantly changing rules and regulations, and the company’s own requirement that a risk assessment be carried out.
The reporting system aboard and to shore did not seem to work as employees suspected early on that people were infected. But this apparently never reached the proper decision makers.
Also, plans for dealing with the outbreak did not work as expected, and even when the outbreak was reported and confirmed, there was a delay before the company reacted, according to the NMD.