Iceland: Boat Crew of 14 Tests Positive for COVID-19 Skip to content

Iceland: Boat Crew of 14 Tests Positive for COVID-19

By Yelena

Valdimar GK Ship
Photo: Valdimar GK/Facebook.

All 14 crew members of longline fishing boat Valdimar GK from Grindavík, Southwest Iceland, have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The crew members began experiencing symptoms while fishing near Southeast Iceland and had to sail for nearly 24 hours through stormy weather in order to reach the Njarðvík harbour in Southwest Iceland, where all were tested and proved to be infected with the novel coronavirus. Viljinn reported first.

“We got word late on Thursday night that some of the crew had flu symptoms,” Björn Halldórsson, safety manager of seafood company Þorbjörn told RÚV reporters. The company contacted the Civil Protection Department, activated COVID-19 procedure it had put in place in spring, and continued to followed developments. “Unfortunately, more people joined the group [with symptoms] so it was decided they would sail to shore immediately.”

The ship decided to sail to Njarðvík as it had a slot booked in the shipyard there. “But they still had a 24-hour trip in shit weather ahead of them,” explains Björn. The ship had been close to Höfn, Southeast Iceland when the decision to sail for Njarðvík was made.

All 14 crew members are now in isolation, with symptoms of varying severity. Björn says it is not known how the virus got on board the ship, but the company feels that looking for a scapegoat is besides the point. He thanked the Directorate of Health and Civil Protection Department for their involvement.

The 14 cases will be included in yesterday’s tally of new domestic COVID-19 cases, and the figure is therefore expected to be higher than in recent days.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!