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Asian ports refuse entry to Covid-hit Evergreen ship with dead captain onboard

Nearly two months since the death of an Italian captain onboard Evergreen’s 5,090 teu Ital Libera and his family are still unable to arrange a funeral with port authorities in Asia refusing to accept the ship that was hit with an outbreak of Covid-19.

Captain Angelo Capurro, 61, died on April 13 in Indonesian waters having contracted Covid-19. Other crew from the 2009-built ship also came down with the virus. The ship was en route from Durban to Singapore when the captain became ill.

In the intervening 10 weeks since Capurro passed away, a host of Asian ports have denied the ship access.

Force majeure has been declared and the ship has been diverted to call Italy first in order to repatriate the captain.

The desperate situation onboard even saw Capurro’s family launch a fundraiser on GoFundMe earlier to try and get his return to Italian soil.

“We will fight so that this tragedy that has struck us is not archived, ending up in the anonymity of the numbers of forgotten statistics,” Capurro’s daughter, Maria Eleonora, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica last month.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. It shows ships out of ports are very much on their own.Very sad special in above article.

  2. Sailors are people who work around the clock shift oil, cargo and other items which are made easy for the land people to get from another location and during this moment a sailor is forgotten and the last on list who is given no incentives for his hard work and sacrifices. Very Sad indeed.

    A sailor is never recognised but is the most important person to make a united world. Something needs to be done for theses sailors. let not neglect them. WHO, IMO and all the bodies out there. These people have families and love too.

  3. So sad !!!

    Why he could have not been airlifted or given medicinal help while he was sick

    Also I feel it’s so in humane as to see dead body is on board !!

    All seafarers and shipping companies to raise these issues to IMO and must take ownership to deal with situation on board .

  4. A dead body has the potential to do more harm than has been dealt to this world already? Shame on these nations who wash off their hands from seafarers plight.

  5. From the logs of Splash247 compulsive reader:
    June 2, 2021

    June 3, 2021 Splash247 comments section
    There, but for the Grace of God, goes every container ship owner, operator and manager on this planet.
    Don’t ask me how I know this. And if you run boxboats, you know it’s true.

    end quote
    Regret to observe ,the above statement of fact and prophecy are both true.

  6. Nothing is more precious than the life of a human only who loses his close ones will realise it, shame on part of the entire shipping fraternity involved in right from crewing to logistics. There can’t be any justifying reasons for which a dead body couldn’t be airlifted for the past 2 months. Humanity is dying hardly any one understands the plight of another person

  7. How long this will take again to sort this matter out.
    The P&I in charge of the vessel should take a decision! The solution is to stay at 2NM and send a medical supply boat to take the body and do all the formalities with the morgue and get a coffin prepared for the situation.
    Anyway a decision should be taken.

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