At least 49 crew members from six countries were due to disembark the Ruby Princess.
At least 49 crew members from six countries were due to disembark the Ruby Princess.

Ruby Princess crew’s thunderous exit

Ruby Princess crew members have clapped and cheered from their balconies as the first of their workmates finally began to disembark the troubled cruise ship in NSW to fly home.

One crew member performed an impromptu haka after disembarking the vessel on Tuesday, earning applause from those on board.

One woman from Ireland, meanwhile, said she was "absolutely delighted" and "never thought the day would come".

"I've been in the cabin for like, about a month now," she said in footage shared by NSW Police.

"It's so surreal … it's slightly overwhelming."

At least 49 crew members from six countries were due to disembark the ship, which has been docked at Port Kembla for more than two weeks following a COVID-19 outbreak.

 

The repatriation process has begun for crew members on board the ill-fated Ruby Princess ahead of the cruise ship's scheduled departure on Thursday.
The repatriation process has begun for crew members on board the ill-fated Ruby Princess ahead of the cruise ship's scheduled departure on Thursday.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the health and safety of crew and the wider community would remain the priority as the repatriation process began.

"The movement of the first crew contingent today is an important milestone, and has us one step closer to the Ruby Princess leaving Australian waters," Mr Fuller said in a statement on Tuesday.

Crew members of the Ruby Princess cruise ship leaving the vessel which has been docked at Port Kembla for more than two weeks following a catastrophic COVID-19 outbreak.
Crew members of the Ruby Princess cruise ship leaving the vessel which has been docked at Port Kembla for more than two weeks following a catastrophic COVID-19 outbreak.

One crew member expected to leave the ship has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be taken to a NSW Health-managed hotel for 14 days of quarantine before returning home, according to police.

The remaining 48 crew have tested negative and arrangements are being made for flights to their home countries.

Ruby Princess crew members have clapped and cheered from their balconies as the first of their workmates finally began to disembark.
Ruby Princess crew members have clapped and cheered from their balconies as the first of their workmates finally began to disembark.

NSW Police says more crew members will disembark in coming days, but hundreds will remain on board and return with the ship to its port of origin.

Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the ship was on track for a Thursday departure.

 

One crew member performed an impromptu haka after disembarking the vessel.
One crew member performed an impromptu haka after disembarking the vessel.

The Ruby Princess initially docked in Sydney in March, when the ship's passengers and some crew disembarked.

It has since been linked to at least 21 deaths and hundreds of coronavirus cases across Australia.

One woman from Ireland, meanwhile, said she was “absolutely delighted”.
One woman from Ireland, meanwhile, said she was “absolutely delighted”.

Most of the crew have remained in isolation on the ship and 190 of those on board had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday night.

Another 12 crew members infected with coronavirus have previously been evacuated to NSW hospitals.

 

Picture: NSW Police
Picture: NSW Police

 

NSW opposition leader Jodi McKay said the ship should stay on Australian shores until every crew member was either well or repatriated to their home countries.

The repatriation process for crew members on board the ill-fated Ruby Princess ahead of the cruise ship's departure from Australian shores. Picture: NSW Police
The repatriation process for crew members on board the ill-fated Ruby Princess ahead of the cruise ship's departure from Australian shores. Picture: NSW Police

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

OPINION: Our journos have been covering news that matters on the Northern Rivers...

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Queensland border: Opening with NSW in November may be in doubt

FLYING HIGH: Number of flights into Ballina set to jump

Premium Content FLYING HIGH: Number of flights into Ballina set to jump

Ballina airport is going gangbusters, with the number of flights set to increase by...