A look inside the Diamond Princess, which is under quarantine off of Japan’s coast, following an outbreak of the coronavirus. (Facebook photo)

B.C. couple on coronavirus-quarantined ship urge feds to step up

In limbo off Japan, Nigel Finch-Cole and spouse Patrick also make polite plea for Timmy’s coffee

A White Rock couple is among Canadian passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that has been quarantined off of Japan’s coast due to the coronavirus.

Nigel Finch-Cole – onboard with his spouse Patrick Finch and four other Canadian travel companions, both family members and friends – has been posting information, updates and photos to his Facebook page regarding the unfolding situation since Feb. 4, when he shared that the ship was at anchor in Yokohama Bay under quarantine.

“Japanese officials visited each stateroom overnight to conduct tests on all passengers and crew and temperature checks,” Finch-Cole wrote. “We won’t know the results until (Feb. 5). Meanwhile, we sit and wait. All travel plans must be changed and the next cruise has been cancelled.”

The Princess Cruises ship – with 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew – was placed under quarantine Feb. 4, following a confirmed outbreak of the coronavirus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in late December.

In his series of posts, Finch-Cole describes four days of being confined to staterooms; the distress as new cases are confirmed; ambulances arriving to take sick passengers away; being issued masks and gloves “to allow short time for fresh air on port side promenade deck… and told to stay 2 meters apart”; being provided a phone number to call for mental-health purposes; and, an appeal for help returning home.

“We request and require the Canadian/British Governments repatriate us to complete quarantine in Canada or the United Kingdom,” the British-born Finch-Cole wrote on Feb. 7.

He followed that post with one asking friends to also apply pressure by contacting the prime minister’s office or their MP.

The stateroom-confinement order was “very upsetting and worrying for us, our family and friends who are also aboard,” Finch-Cole wrote, of steps announced following confirmation of the first 10 cases onboard.

As of Monday, that number had grown to 66, with eight Canadians confirmed among those who tested positive.

In a news release, officials with Princess Cruises said the results were confirmed by the Japanese Ministry of Health and that it is following the ministry’s “disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases.”

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency on Jan. 30, after cases spiked more than tenfold in a week.

READ MORE: WHO declares global emergency over coronavirus

READ MORE: Princess Cruises confirms new Canadian coronavirus case aboard Diamond Princess

The quarantine period aboard the Diamond Princess is to continue until Feb. 19, barring “unforeseen developments,” according to a statement issued by the cruise line last week.

In the meantime, Finch-Cole is adding some humour – and reflection – to his social-media updates.

“If some kind soul would be kind enough to send us Canadians some lovely Tim Horton’s instant coffee, we would love you forever!” he wrote in his latest post, finishing with, “Take care, love one another, be kind and most of all, enjoy your freedom.”

– with files from Canadian Press

Coronaviruswhite rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

White Rock couple Patrick Finch and Nigel Finch-Cole are among Canadians aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, anchored off of Tokyo, due to the coronoavirus outbreak. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for people's help identifying the suspect of a sexual assault that occurred early Oct. 29. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD searching for suspect in sexual assault incident

A woman was sexually assaulted at the 800-block of Cormorant Street just before 4 a.m. Oct. 29

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as fake Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe their could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Artists, activists and supporters stand at the ‘More Justice, More Peace’ mural in Victoria’s Bastion Square after the letter ‘S’ was painted over in black. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
ACAB removed from Victoria’s More Justice, More Peace mural

New message points to VicPD, City of Victoria for silencing BIPOC voices

Sooke’s Paul Larouche gold snipes along Sooke River, a process in which he uses a mask and snorkel to find pieces of gold. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Hitting the jackpot: Sooke man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Sooke RCMP are looking to add more members on their force, but they will have to seek approval from the District of Sooke before doing so. They say they need five additional members to accommodate 24-hour coverage of the region. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke needs more officers to accommodate 24-hour coverage

District’s official community plan calls for 1 officer per 1,000 people

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Adam Ireton holds his son Weston, along with Kristen and Beckett as they celebrate Weston's last day of treatment for lukemia. (Kristen Ireton photo)
799 days: ‘Super’ Weston defeats cancer

‘Weston is disease-free now, so we will be going into a period of checkups and things until he’s 18’

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

Most Read