Image – Pa Media
Dorset, August 11, 2023 – A group of asylum seekers were promptly evacuated from the Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset after health authorities detected traces of Legionella bacteria on the vessel. The timely response by local authorities ensured the safety and well-being of those onboard, as concerns over potential health risks arose.
The Bibby Stockholm, which had been temporarily housing a group of asylum seekers awaiting processing, became the focus of attention when routine testing revealed the presence of Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria, commonly found in stagnant water sources, can lead to a respiratory illness known as Legionnaires’ disease if not properly managed.
Officials from Public Health Dorset, working in collaboration with Dorset Police and immigration authorities, swiftly organized the evacuation of the barge. The affected individuals were safely transferred to alternative accommodation, where they are being provided with medical assessments and necessary care. Authorities have emphasized that there have been no reported cases of illness related to Legionella at this time.
The incident has also sparked discussions about the living conditions of asylum seekers and their access to proper healthcare. Advocacy groups have highlighted the need for stringent health and safety measures within temporary housing facilities to prevent such occurrences in the future.
The owners of the Bibby Stockholm, Bibby Marine Services, have pledged full cooperation with health authorities and are taking the necessary steps to address the issue. A thorough cleaning and disinfection process is currently underway on the barge to eliminate any traces of the Legionella bacteria.
As investigations into the incident continue, health officials are urging the public to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include high fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing these symptoms is advised to seek medical attention promptly.
The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proactive health measures and collaborative efforts to ensure the well-being of all individuals, especially those in vulnerable situations.