Captain of Bulk Carrier Mathilde Oldendorff Killed, Thanks To China’s ‘Zero-COVID’ Policy

The 36-year old Captain onboard German Capesize bulk carrier Mathilde Oldendorff has reportedly died at the Tianjin Port in China on Friday, 29th January.

Captain of Bulk Carrier Mathilde Oldendorff Killed, Thanks To China's 'Zero-COVID' Policy
Bulk Carrier Mathilde Oldendorff | Courtesy: Nico T. / MarineTraffic

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The tragic incident occurred when the man of Turkish nationality (mentioned as the Chief officer in other sources) had to measure the draft of the 2,06,000 t DWT Liberia-flagged bulk carrier using the pilot ladder from the shore side of the berthed vessel, when he slipped and fell into pier.

Owing to the Chinese zero-COVID policy, which prohibits any physical contacts between a vessel’s crew and the shore (even if it is a walk along the berth, to execute one’s duty) the crew were not allowed to assist him, leaving the man at his fate.

Later when the paramedics arrived, the man was found dead. It is being reported that the Captain’s body will now be transferred to Turkey, after the completion of formalities. The 2013-built Mathilde Oldendorff left the Tianjin Port today (31st January), and is now on its way to Port Hedland in Australia.

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“What’s wrong with China, what is it it’s after? Pushing out all non-Chinese crews from all ships calling Chinese ports, and replacing them with Chinese crews? This ‘zero-covid’ policy with regards to crews, has nothing to do with ‘science’ or common sense, not to mention humanitarian considerations.” commented Mikhail Voytenko, Maritime Journalist at the Maritime Bulletin.

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