Liberian cargo ship Agapi S continues voyage to New Orleans following food poisoning incident off Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The 680-foot Liberian bulk carrier cargo ship Agapi S continued its voyage to New Orleans after 19 of 21 crewmembers experiencing symptoms of food poisoning were cleared following a medical evaluation and treatment just off San Juan, Puerto Rico Saturday afternoon.

A team of two doctors contracted by Luis Ayala Colon Inc. Shipping were transported by tug boat to the Agapi S Saturday afternoon, approximately five nautical miles off shore to assess the medical condition of the ill crewmembers. The Agapi S remained offshore and never entered the Port of San Juan while assistance was provided to the crew.

Doctors confirmed ill crewmembers were stable and did not require medical attention ashore after suffering from food poisoning. Doctors also reported symptoms for fifteen of the crewmembers to be subsiding, while four others who still displayed symptoms showed signs of improvement after receiving treatment onboard.

The Agapi S was transiting from Saint Eustatius, Netherland Antilles to New Orleans off the coast of Puerto Rico when the incident took place.

Watchstanders in Coast Guard Sector San Juan received notification from the master of the Agapi S at 11p.m. Friday, when he reported crewmembers began showing signs of food poisoning Friday afternoon shortly after consuming fish that had been caught by the crew. Crewmembers who did not consume the fish were reported to not show any symptoms.

Coast Guard Watchstanders proceeded to notify Center of Disease Control and Puerto Rico Department of Health authorities of the developing situation, who after assessing the situation concluded the symptoms to be food poisoning.

“Balancing the health of the ship’s crew with overall public safety were our primary concerns,” said Cmdr. Kailie Benson, Sector San Juan chief of prevention. “The prompt and thorough coordination between all federal and local authorities and Luis Ayala Colon Shipping allowed for 19 mariners to receive needed assistance and ensure the operational safety of the Agapi S.”

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