Coronavirus: Eight crew of Black Watch cruise liner test positive

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Fred Olsen linersImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Black Watch is one of four Fred Olsen liners moored off Rosyth

Eight crew members of a cruise ship moored in the Firth of Forth have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Black Watch ship, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, has no guests on board and is operating with a "skeleton crew".

The ship is one of four liners which have been anchored near Rosyth after the firm suspended operations.

Fred Olsen said eight crew members have tested positive and six other staff onboard were awaiting results.

A spokeswoman said: "The ship is operating under the current guidance from Public Health England. Each crew member is occupying their own cabin, each with a balcony.

"There are no social gatherings on board. Crew are only leaving their cabins to perform essential duties, which includes bridge watch, engine watch and the preparation of food.

"Those who have received a positive diagnosis or who are feeling unwell are not undertaking any duties."

Temporary anchorage

The company announced last week that Black Watch, Balmoral, Boudicca, and Braemar would be anchored temporarily near Rosyth.

One of the ships, Braemar, was hit by the virus in the Caribbean last month resulting in hundreds of passengers being flown back to the UK.

A Forth Ports spokesman said: "The Black Watch is one of four Fred Olsen Cruise Lines vessels for which Forth Ports is providing safe anchorage out in the River Forth while they are non-operational.

"As the Statutory River Authority, we have instructed that the vessel remains at the anchorage until the appropriate period of self-isolation is complete.

"The ship's owners Fred Olsen Cruise Lines are taking care of the welfare of the crew on board."