Australia (9news)

Mountain of evidence blows out Ruby Princess investigation

By June 21, 2020 11 Comments
The Ruby Princess police investigation has blown out and will now take six months, double the initial estimate to probe the COVID-19 riddled cruise.
NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller said the strike force investigating how the ship docked in Sydney, spilling 2700 passengers into the city, was amassing a huge volume of evidence.
New South Wales Police investigators in protective gear prepare to board the Ruby Princess at Wollongong, Australia. Police boarded the cruise ship to seize evidence and question crew members after the vessel was linked to hundreds of COVID-19 cases and more than a dozen deaths across Australia.
New South Wales Police investigators in protective gear prepare to board the Ruby Princess at Wollongong, Australia. Police boarded the cruise ship to seize evidence and question crew members after the vessel was linked to hundreds of COVID-19 cases and more than a dozen deaths across Australia.(AP)
“There is a chance we will need to interview every [crew] member and passenger on the ship,” he said, explaining the expanding investigation.
The NSW police chief said he would be “happy” to release the findings of the investigation if no state coronial inquest was ordered to probe at least 18 deaths linked to the ship.
Do you know more? Did you travel on the Ruby Princess? Are you crew?Email msaunoko@nine.com.au
However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there may be legal reasons that could block the release of the police report.
If that were the case, Ms Berejiklian said she would launch a commission of inquiry to investigate all relevant state and federal bodies and the cruise company.
“We all want to get to the bottom of this. All of us want to find out what went wrong,” she said.
More than 700 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the cruise ship which docked in Sydney last month.
READ MORE:The eligibility requirements you must meet to be tested for COVID-19 in each state
There are questions over the roles NSW Health and other state and federal government apparatus played as the Ruby Princess was welcomed into Sydney with open arms.
Police have spoken to the captain and other “crucial witnesses” on the ship.
Strike Force Bast will also seek to uncover if anyone on the ship had masked sickness of passengers on the ship before it docked.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney. Premier Gladys Berejiklian stands in the background.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney. Premier Gladys Berejiklian stands in the background.(AAP)
Comm. Fuller said he was in daily briefings with NSW Health about the Ruby Princess, currently docked at a southern NSW port with more than 1000 crew on board.
NSW Health said 66 crew members have so far tested positive to coronavirus.
When the crew are deemed safe and healthy, Comm. Fuller said he would contact Australian Border Force and activate orders for the Ruby Princess to leave Australian waters.
Police expect the investigation to conclude in September.
Do you know more? Did you travel on the Ruby Princess? Are you crew?Email msaunoko@nine.com.au
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