Crewman being tested for Covid after fleeing livestock ship in Queensland

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It is understood the man left the livestock carrier Polaris 3 after it docked offshore in Townsville. (

An international crew member who allegedly fled a ship docked in north Queensland is being tested for COVID-19 after handing himself in to police.

It is understood the man left the livestock carrier Polaris 3 after it docked offshore in Townsville last week.

He was among a dozen crew members seeking asylum in Australia.

Queensland police said the man turned himself in at a local police station overnight after flouting quarantine protocols.

He has undergone coronavirus testing and is awaiting a result.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said the 11 remaining crew members who refused to return to the ship had all tested negative.

“There has been no indication of anyone aboard the vessel being recently infected,” the spokesperson said.

“We are providing support to protect the Townsville community, and ensure the health of officers from the agencies involved and the vessel’s crew.

“The risk to the community is extremely low.”

The incident is being managed by the Australian Border Force.

Asylum seekers now in quarantine

Marine tracking details show the ship is now travelling to Jakarta.

Federal MP Phillip Thompson said the 12 international crew members’ visas had been revoked.

“As per the Queensland Health recommendation, all crew members will be taken to a place outside Townsville where they will be complete quarantine under the direction and guidance of Australian Border Force,” he said.

“They’ll quarantine and the Australian government and border force will determine if there is genuine refugee status from these people.

“That involves checking character, reasons for fleeing and things like that, so that’s the next steps that will happen.”

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