Italian authorities are trying to bring back the body of a master who died two weeks ago on a boxship off Indonesia.

Captain Angelo Capurro, 61, passed away on the 5,090-teu Ital Libera (built 2009) on 13 April.

The vessel and its 20 crew had remained anchored at Jakarta, although AIS data showed it underway just off the port on Monday morning.

Italy's La Nazione daily publication reported the first and second officers had tested positive for Covid-19.

No autopsy has been carried out on the master, who had tested negative for coronavirus in Italy and South Africa.

Italian public prosecutor Antonio Patrono has received a complaint from family members who alleged a lack of assistance from Indonesian authorities.

He has ordered an autopsy and asked Italian police to repatriate the body.

Served with distinction

"The ship is ready to leave; we await information from the competent authorities," operator Italia Marittima said in a statement.

The company expressed its deepest condolences to the family of the late captain, who the company said served the organisation for many years with professionalism and dedication.

The vessel was en route from Durban to Singapore when he died.

Italia Marittima diverted the ship to Jakarta. The manager said it is cooperating with authorities there.

Covid-19 deaths increasing

While the cause of death remains unknown in this case, a spate of Covid-19-related incidents have been reported on ships in the last two months.

Earlier in April, the Pacific Ocean island of Vanuatu went into lockdown after the body of a seafarer who later tested positive for Covid-19 was found on a beach.

The Filipino man in his 40s served on the 3,678-cbm LPG carrier Inge Kosan (built 2011), operated by BW Epic Kosan. Cause of death has not yet been revealed.

On 19 April, TradeWinds reported that a Greek bulker was quarantined in Crete after a crewman was found dead in his cabin, while 10 others later tested positive for Covid-19.

Greece's Hellenic Coast Guard said the seafarer was discovered on the 182,000-dwt Heroic (built 2010), which is owned by CM Lemos company Nereus Shipping.

Two seafarers also died and another was in hospital as Brazil's dire Covid-19 emergency spread to three vessels.