Dubai | Fourteen stranded crew members, including 11 Indians, of a Panamian ship in the UAE have got their wages after India intervened to resolve their three- month-long differences with the shipping company.
Of the crew, four Indians have decided to stay back on the ship, which is now under a new management, the Indian Consulate here said yesterday. Four Indians, two Myanmarese and one Nepalese have already left the vessel, while three Indians are in the process of signing off.
The Panama-flagged MV Home was owned by a Dubai company and was engaged in renting out accommodation for workers in rigs when the crew faced non-payment of salaries and shortage of food supply. The crew was so frustrated after the company left them high and dry in the sea without providing food and water for 50 days that one of them was on the verge of committing suicide, the vessel’s captain said.
The captain said the crew’s plight started when the ship was left unattended by its company from August. The ship wasn’t hired by any rigs for quite some time and we were at Khor Fakkan when the company last provided fresh water and other provisions to us for 40 days, said Captain Shailendra Sharma. We waited till August 31 and after that we could not hold on any more.
The captain then sent a distress call to the Indian Consulate in Dubai. After I contacted them, the consulate officials were in touch with us every day and they helped in arranging fresh water immediately from some nearby ships. The active intervention of the Consulate and thorough persuasion of the issue with the vessel owner, agent and Harbor master, Ajman Port has resolving the crisis of 14 stranded crew members, a statement from the consulate said.
The settlement was reached after repeated parleys with company followed by a decisive personal meeting with the company owner. All crew members have been paid their pending salaries and seven Indians who wanted to return home have been signed off, the statement said.