Hurtigruten boss lies flat after the outbreak of infection in 2020: – Both the company and I have taken full responsibility for what happened.
After 1.5 years of investigating the outbreak of infection on MS Roald Amundsen, the prosecution concluded before the weekend that Hurtigruten Coastal AS will be punished with a fine of 1,000,000 kroner.
– We experience that the police have made a long and thorough investigation, and we have approved the fine, says CEO Daniel Skjeldam in Hurtigruten Group in a press release.
In the summer of 2020, 29 passengers and 42 employees tested positive for coronavirus after the two expedition cruises with MS «Roald Amundsen», and several dozen Norwegian municipalities had to deal with sick inhabitants from the ship.
In retrospect, it has become clear that no infection was spread further in society.
Despite the fact that the ship had several pieces of information that suggested infection on board, they failed to put in place infection control measures, notify passengers, crew or public authorities about this, the police write in the fine.
– We in the Hurtigruten Group have been concerned with turning every stone to understand what went wrong and how we can learn from it. Both the company and I have taken full responsibility for what happened. We also do this by accepting the fine we have received, says Skjeldam.
Hurtigruten fines millions after infection
– Should lead to measures
Two days before the ship arrived in the port of Tromsø, the shipping company had several independent pieces of information that suggested infection on board the ship, according to the police.
The chief infection control officer in Hadsel municipality is said to have notified employees in the shipping company that the ship was a probable site of infection for a passenger from the first of two voyages. FHI recommended notification of the passengers on the same day.
It must also have been recommended or decided by health personnel on board to test two of the crew for covid-19, in addition to the crew having symptoms compatible with the disease.
Nevertheless, the shipping company failed to implement infection control measures, notify passengers, crew or public authorities, the police wrote in a press release before the weekend.
After the eruption, Hurtigruten stopped all sailings with the expedition cruise ships MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen both in and outside Norwegian waters.
– A preliminary evaluation shows that there has been a failure in several of our internal procedures. Therefore, we are now in the process of a full review of all procedures and all aspects of our own handling, said CEO Daniel Skjeldam in a statement on 4 August 2020.
Hurtigruten stops all expedition cruise sailings until further notice
Long police investigation
The police began investigating the Hurtigruten in August 2020, which they completed in November 2021.
After 1.5 years of investigating the outbreak of MS Roald Amundsen, the prosecution concluded before the weekend that Hurtigruten Coastal AS will be punished with a fine of 1,000,000 kroner, for deficiencies in safety management system, emergency preparedness, organization, reporting, risk assessment, facilitation and notification .
– If the shipping company had in place the safety management system that they are required by law to have, then the sum of the information that the shipping company relied on should have led to measures, notification and better follow-up to reduce the risk of further spread of infection, says police attorney Lisa-Mari Ellingsen in the press releases.
Hurtigruten lost NOK 639 million
Lost 639 million kroner
Hurtigruten lost 63.6 million euros in the third quarter of 2021. The amount corresponds to just under 639 million kroner.
In comparison, the corresponding loss was 43.7 million euros at the same time last year.
Up to and including the end of September, the company now has a loss of almost NOK 1.9 billion in total. This is a loss 1.7 billion in 2020.
At the same time, the company reported a record high booking, compared to before the pandemic.
Orders for 2022 are, as of November 8, 2021, 15 percent higher compared to the same period two years ago and are an all-time high compared to pre-pandemic levels.