Sveinn Geir Arnarsson, captain of freezer trawler Júlíus Geirmundsson, pleaded guilty when the Westfjords Police Chief’s case against him was heard in the Westfjords District Court last week, Vísir reported. Sveinn has been ordered to pay a fine of ISK 750,000 ($5,800/€4,800) and his captain’s licence has been suspended for a period of four months.
Twenty-two of the vessel’s 25 crew members contracted COVID-19 while at sea last October. The ship did not return to harbour for three weeks despite the outbreak on board. The crew later called for the captain’s resignation. Three months since the incident, some of the ship’s crew are still unable to work due to COVID-19 complications.
Sveinn was charged with violating the second paragraph of Article 34 of the Fishermen’s Act, which states: “If there is reason to believe that the crew member is suffering from a disease that poses a danger to other people on the ship, the captain shall have the patient transported ashore if it is not possible to protect against the risk of infection on the ship.”
Five labour unions also pressed charges against the captain following the incident.