American Seafoods Co. announced in a press release that the trawler American Dynasty returned to its home port of Seattle after most of its crew tested positive for covid-19 while the boat was docked and off-loading in Bellingham, Wash. Out of the crew of 124, the company reports 86 positive tests and 9 tests outstanding.
Before departing Seattle in mid-May, the entire crew tested negative. On Friday, May 29, a crew member tested positive and was hospitalized in Bellingham, which led the company to test the full crew.
"American Seafoods is cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the CDC, the Seattle/King County Health Department, Whatcom County Health Department, and the Port of Seattle," said the company's announcement. "As the situation continues to evolve, the health and safety of our people is our priority. We will provide further updates as appropriate."
The boat and crew had been fishing Pacific hake between leaving port in Seattle and docking at Bellingham to off-load.
The American Dynasty returned to port in Seattle on Sunday night, May 31. Nonessential personnel are under quarantine shoreside, and all crew members are being monitored by medical professionals.
The company reports that the initial crew member who tested positive and was hospitalized is recovering. Since retesting the crew, two more members have reported feeling ill.
The American Dynasty is a 272-foot factory trawler registered vessel on both the Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative and the Pollock Conservation Cooperative, and it is employed in the wild yellowfin sole fisheries in Alaska. It was carrying a crew of 124, including a medic.
Brian Hagenbuch contributed to reporting on this story.