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Police seize ‘black box’ from Ruby Princess as part of COVID19 homicide investigation

PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line's Ruby Princess

PortandTerminal.com, April 2020

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said it was ‘too early to tell’ whether a crime was committed, but said there was ‘no doubt’ coronavirus was brought off the ship. Who knew what and when are the unanswered questions for now.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Police in Australia have seized the “black box” of the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which is currently at the center of a homicide investigation following a deadly outbreak of coronavirus linked to the ship.

“Ships have a black box very similar to that of international planes, and that and other evidence has been seized for further investigation,” New South Wales (NSW) Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said during a televised press briefing on Thursday, according to Reuters.

According to health authorities, there have been six deaths in NSW so far associated with the Ruby Princess, which last month was allowed to discharge its passengers in Sydney.

Many of those who were discharged later tested positive for COVID19. Homicide detectives are involved in the investigation into exactly what happened.

READ: HOMICIDE?: Police Start Criminal Probe into Carnival Virus Cruise Ship

In the weeks that followed the ship’s docking, controversy had ignited over the disembarkation of nearly 2,700 passengers on March 19. New South Wales Health officials said at the time that about a dozen passengers had felt unwell and been tested for COVID-19 — though other passengers were not alerted of this update, ultimately departing the ship without screening, and then traveling home.

What did Carnival know?

Police in white hazmat suits raiding a cruise ship.
NSW Police raided the Ruby Princess overnight. Photo: NSW Police

“The key question that remains unanswered… was Carnival, or crew, transparent in contextualizing the true patient/crew health conditions relevant to COVID-19?” Fuller stated during the April 4 press briefing.

“There is clear evidence that [COVID-19] has been brought off that ship,” Fuller said during the briefing, while also confirming that the investigation would seek to find out if Carnival had downplayed the symptoms of passengers and crew prior to docking.

“The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national bio-security laws and our state laws have been broken is through a criminal investigation,” he later added.

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