Cruise ship Costa Diadema (IMO 9636888), which had at least reported 65 cases of coronavirus on board, has been piloted remotely through the Suez Canal.
On March 23, a pilotage team aboard two escort tugs remotely piloted the vessel during a northbound convoy through the new Suez Canal. The ship was sailing without passengers from the United Arab Emirates to Italy.
In addition to four senior pilots to guide the vessel on two escorting tugs, one in the front and one astern, the Canal operators deployed radar guidance and minute-by-minute follow-up, in full coordination with transit control offices and navigation monitoring stations along the Canal.
Suez Canal Authority Chairman and Managing Director, Admiral Osama Rabie, said that the authority considered the humanitarian dimension when dealing with the Italian vessel. He said that they had taken unprecedented measures to ensure a safe and fast transit for the vessel, without keeping it waiting in the anchorage area, which guaranteed the vessel a quick arrival for its destination and ensured that the infected on board could receive medical treatment as quickly as possible. The Canal received the vessel at 04:00, with a time interval before the northbound convoy.