Crew member of vessel that docked in Sarnia dies of COVID

The Damia Desgagnes tanker at Sarnia Harbour. October 2, 2020. ( photo by Melanie Irwin)

A crew member of a vessel that was docked in Sarnia in late September has died from COVID-19 complications.

The Seafarers International Union Canada said in statement Thursday that it’s deeply saddened to announce the tragic passing of Chief Cook Renato Battisti after a battle with COVID-19 that was contracted while at sea.

Chief Cook Renato Battisti. (Photo from Seafarers International Union Canada)

Chief Cook Renato Battisti. (Photo from Seafarers International Union Canada)

The union said Battisti was a member of the Damia Desgagnes, the commercial ship that was linked to five positive COVID cases while docked in Sarnia in late September.

City of Sarnia Emergency Manager Ron Realesmith said the sailor in question made it into Sarnia on September 30 where he was housed and working with Lambton Public Health.

“At some point his health deteriorates and he ends up in Bluewater Health and subsequently is transported to London,” said Realesmith. “He did pass away on October 31.”

Bluewater Health reported October 20 that a 61-year-old man admitted October 5 had been transferred to another hospital. Further information was not released for privacy reasons.

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade was asked about the case during a media briefing Thursday, but declined comment.

As of Wednesday, the seafarers union reported there were no vessels currently dealing with active cases.