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Norwegian ship with Covid-19 infections arrives in Rarotonga

Tuesday 14 June 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local, National


Norwegian ship with Covid-19 infections arrives in Rarotonga
The 100 students aboard the Statsraad Lehmkuhl are not allowed to step onto Rarotonga because some of the crew have Covid-19. Photo: Caleb Fotheringham/22061314

A three-masted, 48-metre-tall and 85-metre-long ship is sitting outside of the Avatiu Harbour.

The ship, Statsraad Lehmkuhl, is carrying 90 students from all around the world.

Cook Islands Ports Authority harbour master John Jessie said some of the students were from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.

Jessie said the students are studying ocean biology and were previously in Tahiti.  

“They won’t be doing any surveys here, they’re just on a stand down trip taking some time off and then they head back to the sea,” he said.

The ship will remain in Rarotonga until Wednesday, however, Jessie said nobody on board was allowed to come on land because some of the crew had Covid-19.

The ship is parked outside of the harbour because it’s mast could get in the way of landing planes, Jessie said. The maximum height of a ship’s mast allowed in the harbour is 27 metres.

According to the foundation that manages the ship, it was built in 1914 in Germany as a training ship for the German merchant marine.

It later changed hands to England as part of the war reparations in 1920. In 1921 it was purchased by Norway and put into service as a sail training vessel from 1923.

The Statsraad Lehmkuhl is today Norway’s largest and oldest square-rigged sailing ship.