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After two sailors died of covid, the armaments sound the alarm – Brittany

Two sailors, a Malagasy and an Indonesian, died last week from covid-19 in the Seychelles. The two men were members of the crew of the tuna seiner Belle Isle, a ship belonging to the Reunion fleet. Sapmer, which also has offices in Concarneau (29). The first symptoms appeared at sea and one of the two victims was quickly placed on life support. The ship then returned to the island of Mahé where the two sailors were taken care of in critical condition. They sadly passed away soon after.

In the process, the 35 crew members all tested positive for covid-19. They have since been isolated on the ship with regular medical monitoring on board. The most tired people were placed in hotel rooms while they were recovering.

The armament ensures “that everything had gone well so far”, with a drastic health protocol imposed before and after each change. Therefore, the Sapmer, which owns nine tuna purse seiners, strongly suspects that a variant of the virus is at the origin of the cluster.

Vaccination requested for sailors

Contacted, Yvon Riva, President of Orthongel, an organization based in Concarneau bringing together the Breton shipping lines (Sapmer, CFTO and Via Océan) fishing for tropical tuna in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, has informed that it has been asking for several months that personnel at sea be considered as priority public for vaccination. “The boat is a place of confinement that is very unfavorable to distancing. Ships are also far from the coast and from hospitals. In all these respects, the sailor is infinitely vulnerable. The fishermen feed the population, they are part of this class of workers exposed but absolutely necessary for the functioning of society ”, he pleads, adding that the Union of fishing boat owners of France (UAPF) is also associated. to these claims.

“We’re not here to count our dead. We must take quick measures, it is urgent. “

“We are not here to count our dead”

At the CGT Marins du Finistère, the trade unionist Yves L’Helgoualc’h recalls that the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the WHO published, at the end of March, a circular calling on the Member States of the United Nations to give priority to vaccines to people from sea ​​and aircraft crews. “What I fear is that these contaminations will spill over into oil, which could quickly congest all exchanges. We’re not here to count our dead. We have to make quick arrangements, it is urgent, ”insists Yves L’Helgoualc’h.

Orthongel declares to have alerted the French authorities on this issue, including the Ministry of the Sea, without obtaining any real progress. Contact should nevertheless be established this week with the ministerial cabinet.

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