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Queensland police have launched an investigation after a female crew member of a luxury superyacht that sailed from the Maldives to Cairns tested positive to coronavirus.
Queensland health minister Yvette D’Ath said the 14 passengers and six crew aboard the Lady E yacht have not been cooperating with contact-tracing inquiries since they arrived in the state on Monday.
“The superyacht in question has not been very cooperative at all in relation to information being provided to the Queensland Police Service,” D’Ath said.
Records show the luxury yacht – which features spa facilities, a gym, a cinema, a heated pool and an elevator between floors – visited Gibraltar, Egypt and the Maldives before embarking on the six-week voyage to Cairns.
Guardian Australia understands Queensland police are still trying to determine the nationalities of those onboard.
Authorities are trying to ascertain every location the yacht visited, and the interactions its crew had, as it made its way to Australia. Passengers and crew onboard have not provided trip and close contact details to police.
Authorities do not yet know how the virus entered the vessel.
The 20-year-old Covid-19-positive crew member has been taken to Cairns hospital, while the remaining crew quarantine on the 75-metre yacht.
The 14 passengers have been directed into 14-day hotel quarantine in Cairns and are undergoing mandatory Covid-19 testing.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said: “It is a lesson to us all that superyachts, that have come from elsewhere in the world, no matter how long they might have been at sea, are a risk, and are required to quarantine.”
The yacht is registered to the Cayman Islands, and is recorded as departing Male in the Maldives on 6 November.
According to Burgess Yachts – the company that rents out the yacht – the Lady E was rebuilt in 2020 and costs $785,000 a week to charter.
It is recorded as docking in Gibraltar and anchoring off Port Said in Egypt in October.
It is unclear if the passengers and crew have remained the same since October.
Guardian Australia contacted Chris Santon, the head of Burgess Yachts’ Sydney office, for comment.
The yacht crew member is one of two new cases of Covid-19 recorded in Queensland on Thursday.
The other case was a 40-year-old man who had visited Sydney’s northern beaches and tested positive late on Wednesday night.
He had returned a negative test after returning from Sydney last Friday, but took another test after developing symptoms.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Superyacht with crew member who tested positive to Covid in Queensland ‘not cooperative’ | Cairns