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Signi Maersk Svendsen Photo: Hanna Thevik

Signi celebrated Christmas in isolation

9 months ago
Written by Hanna Thevik
Life on board > Signi celebrated Christmas in isolation

Signi celebrated Christmas in isolation

9 months agoLife on board
Written by Hanna Thevik
Signi Maersk Svendsen Photo: Hanna Thevik

Christmas in New York did not turn out quite as sailor Signi had been looking forward to.

The morning Statsraad Lehmkuhl dropped anchor at the Statue of Liberty in New York, one of the crew members became ill. The coronavirus had managed to sneak on board.

The infection spread, and eight of the crew were left in isolation on board all Christmas. The front part of the ship was closed off down, the healthy ones had to stay in the aft part.

Sailor Signi Maersk Svendsen spent seven days in isolation in the front orlop.

- The first few days I was quite sick, with a fever and a sore throat and body aches. I did not feel well at all, she says.

No admission. Photo: Hanna Thevik
No admission. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Had a good time together

Luckily, Signi soon got over the worst.

- Most of the time in isolation we spent looking after each other and making sure we were all well. It was not a completely normal Christmas, she says.

Signi is happy that she did not sit alone in isolation.

- We actually had a very good time, despite the fact that the virus ravaged our bodies. We played a lot of board games and had many good conversations. We watched movies and ate a lot of good food. It was as a slightly different Christmas holiday in a way, even though we didn't really have a holiday.

Board games and good food. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Board games and good food. Photo: Hanna Thevik

A tougher start

Signi is prepared that starting working again will be tough.

- I came out of isolation on Sunday, and have been lying still without moving much for many days, so it will probably be a little harder than usual to start sailing. The body is still a bit flabby.

In any case, she is looking forward to setting sail for the Azores.

- I am very excited, and it will be fun when the Norwegian Naval Academy comes on board. Unfortunately, the time in New York was not as expected, but so be it. It has been a new experience to be isolated, and I'm ready for what is to come, Signi says.

Signi telling her story:

Norwegian health rules

The ship has followed Norwegian rules for quarantine and isolation. Everyone who signs on the ship must present a negative PCR test taken at least 24 hours before arrival. In addition, everyone is tested on arrival at the port, says helmsman Aksel Sperstad.

Testing at the port before being allowed on board. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Testing at the port before being allowed on board. Photo: Hanna Thevik

There are also strict restrictions on shore leaves. Everyone should stay on the ship as much as possible.

- Four of the crew are in quarantine on land, waiting for clearance to muster. Otherwise, everything is disinfected on board and our status today is that the ship is infection-free, says Sergeant Ove Malmstrøm.

There is still regular testing on board the ship, and the crew was tested again on Monday night. The Naval Academy also has good infection control routines, and Ove reckons that the ship can continue the voyage without new corona outbreaks.

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The One Ocean Expedition is a circumnavigation by the Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl. We aim to to share knowledge about the crucial role of the ocean for a sustainable development in a global perspective.

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