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Death at Sea during COVID-19

In this time of Global Pandemic, due to the corona virus where all countries greatly affected by the virus are struggling to flatten the curve in order to go back in their normal life, We at Pandiman Philippines Inc., as premier Protection & Indemnity Correspondent, continue with our operations.

On 06 April 2020 (where the Enhanced Community Quarantine was already in place), we received an email from club, informing us that one of the vessels entered with them, unfortunately, discovered a deceased seafarer inside his cabin. We were informed that the vessel would deviate to Manila, in order to disembark the remains of the AB. We immediately confirmed our assistance on the matter and coordinated with the local manning agent involved.

The local manning agent informed us of the various requests of the family of the late seafarer, which we relayed immediately to our principal, addressed and then provided to the family, to assist them in this very difficult situation. We were also informed that the vessel would be arriving the following day, 07 April 2020 at 1700 hrs. While it was initially requested that a Surveyor be appointed to board the vessel to investigate and establish the cause of death of the seafarer, due to time constraint it was determined that the the survey/investigation would be done in the next port, Singapore. Having closely coordinating with the appointed Agent, GAC Philippines, we were informed by the Philippine Coast Guard, who assisted in meeting the vessel at the rendezvous point, that they will only allow the quarantine doctor and one representative from the Agent to board the vessel. While we initially tried to gain approval for our Company Representative to board the vessel, it was explained that in view of the Covid 19 pandemic, they would only allow few people to board the vessel. Hence, the family of the late seafarer, together with their appointed funeral parlour representative, our Pandiman representative and that of the local manning agent were waiting at the port.

After a number of hours, the remains of the late seafarer were cleared by the Quarantine Doctor to be disembarked and released to his family. While the immediate cause of death remains unknown to date, what is certain is that the seafarer died due to natural causes.

While the current situation under Covid 19 pandemic is really challenging in many ways, we at Pandiman continue to assure club and their members that our quality of service will be maintained and are happy to guarantee, with confidence, that the tasks for which we have been appointed will be fully accomplished.

Prepared by: Jennifer M. Magsino

Manager, Crew Claims Division

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