Detectives have boarded the Ruby Princess cruise vessel docked at the port of Port Kembla to seize its black box and gather more information related to the docking and disembarkation of passengers in Sydney last month.
On Wednesday, Australian strike force detectives started to conduct inquiries, which included speaking with crew members and collecting other items of interest to the ongoing investigation.
The ship, operated by the US-based Princess Cruises, is believed to have become Australia’s biggest source of COVID-19 infections. It is linked to hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases and a number of deaths.
According to the New South Wales Health, there have been six deaths in NSW so far associated with the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney on 19 March. What is more, 363 passengers and 21 crew members have been infected with COVID-19, NSW Health said in an update on 9 April.
Earlier this week, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced the commencement of a criminal investigation into the communications, actions, and other circumstances that led to the docking and disembarking of the vessel at Sydney Harbour.
Specialist detectives are conducting the investigation under Strike Force Bast.
The vessel, with 1,040 crew members being currently on board and undergoing medical treatments, is expected to remain at the port for ten more days.