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'Inhuman Conditions ': HC allows 16 stranded crew to sign off from 2 ships

HC allows 16 stranded crew to sign off ship
TNN | Feb 20, 2018

Rajkot: Sixteen crew members on two ships stranded at Deendayal Port (formerly Kandla) can finally hope to get released from the inhuman conditions they have been staying in for the last one year.

The Gujarat high court on Monday directed UAE-based Gulf Shipping Service, the owner of two vessels — Nautical Global VII and Nautical Global XVI — to ensure free, safe and proper signing off of the crew members.

The ships have been anchored near the port following Gujarat HC’s orders on February 27 last year following a dispute between Nautical Global Ship management (NGSM), the company which was given management of the vessels, and the UAE owner.

The order came after a detailed inspection report of an officer of Deendayal Port Trust (DPT) submitted to the court on February 8 stating that the seafarers were living in inhuman conditions.

The seafarers had filed a petition in the high court describing their living conditions, lack of medical facility and non-payment of salaries. They alleged that they were confined by the ship management and had requested HC to pass an order to allow them to sign off. The court had ordered DPT to inspect the condition of crew members and submit a report.

The DPT report gave details about lack of food supply and other necessities including medicines for crew members.

Justice C L Soni also directed NGSM to depute minimum crew members immediately on board the vessels to substitute existing ones and ordered that they should pay them salaries, ensure proper supply of food, medicine, oil and water. The payment to new crew members are subject to final orders of the original petition.

Joseph Chacko, the administrator of Kandla Seafarers Welfare Association, said, “We have approached all the concerned persons with the HC order to release crew members as soon as possible. We hope they will be allowed to sign off as early as possible.”