A seafarer has died and many others taken ill following a food poisoning incident on a Precious Shipping bulker.

A jar of pickled bamboo shoots is said to be the source of the incident, which occurred earlier this month on the 34,000-dwt handysize bulker Lanna Naree (built 2012) in the Indian Ocean.

The chief cook passed away and up to 13 others were reported to have become unwell before the bulker could divert to Male in the Maldives.

Precious managing director Khalid Hashim told TradeWinds that the incident was "sad and extremely bizarre".

"It appears that a jar of pickled bamboo shoots, apparently a Thai delicacy, was the cause of this mass poisoning on board our ship," he said.

Colleagues recovered

"From the balance of the staff that ate this pickle, all suffered some form of ill effects, some more than others," Hashim said.

"By the time that the ship had reached Male, all the crew were, more or less, symptomless."

Four crew members who did not eat the pickle suffered no ill effects.

Hashim said all seafarers who had shown symptoms were replaced in Male as a safety precaution.

"We are now in the process of getting this pickle analysed and reporting the same to the authorities so that action can be taken to avoid any such incident in the future," Hashim said.

The Maldives foreign ministry said the incident occurred on 5 and 6 February, according to media reports.

The vessel, which had been en route from Thailand to Puerto Rico, left Male on 11 February.