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Guyanese dies aboard cargo ship, one ill; St. Lucia quarantines eight others

A Guyanese has died aboard a St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registered cargo ship and the other eight Guyanese crew members have been quarantined as authorities try to determine the cause of death and illness, Guyana’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) said in a statement.

Another sick crew member was taken to a St.Lucian hospital for treatment. No names were released.

“The other members of the ship’s crew were ordered to remain on board where their condition is being monitored and until the exact nature of the death and illness have been determined.

This is a usual precautionary measure to protect the local population from contracting any possible communicable disease,” MARAD said in a statement.

MARAD explained that the Saint Vincent & the Grenadines registered ship, MV LADY ZAI departed Georgetown, Guyana on Thursday March 6, 2014. On board were ten Guyanese crew members and a consignment of cargo in bulk, with its destination being the island of Saint Lucia.

According to the regulatory authority, when the vessel arrived in St. Lucia on Sunday March 9, 2014 a crew member had already died and another was ill. However, prior to the ship’s arrival in St Lucia, the port health officials were informed of the situation, thus the vessel was quarantined, MARAD said.

According to the Ministry of Health in St Lucia, the deceased was taken off the vessel and an emergency post mortem was done. The other crew member was simultaneously taken to hospital where he is currently being treated.

MARAD said officials from the Maritime Administration Department here in Guyana are in contact with their colleagues in St. Lucia on the matter, and similarly the health officials from the two countries.