Thursday, April 01, 2021

Indian sailors stranded in the Suez Canal could face severe punishment

 The Suez Canal, one of the main routes for world trade, was blocked for about a week by the Japanese-owned Ever Given. The captains and sailors of that ship were Indians. Suez Canal authorities floated the ship in a desperate attempt. However, the sailors of the ship may have to pay the price for the damage caused by the authorities even if the movement on that route is normal. They may face severe punishment under the canal authorities' own law.

 


According to BBC Bangla, the giant cargo ship was owned by Japan, the Panamanian flag bearer, and operated by Evergreen, a Taiwanese company. However, all the sailors, including the ship's captain, were Indian nationals. But the identities of the ship's captain or other sailors have not yet been revealed.

According to reliable sources, most of the 25 sailors were residents of the southern states of Telangana, Kerala, or Tamil Nadu. The captain himself is a South Indian.

 


Many in the United States, along with India's shipping industry, feel that Indian sailors will face criminal charges over the Suez accident.

It is learned that the 25 sailors have already been placed under house arrest in Suez. They have also been banned from leaving the country until an investigation by Suez Canal authorities is completed.

A senior source at The Maritime Union of India, the largest organization of merchant navy officers in India, told the BBC:

"For example, whenever a ship enters the canal, two of the Authority's own pilots will board the ship and take charge and lead the way."

"But even then, if the ship has an accident, it will be the responsibility of the ship's captain, not the pilots."

The Indian shipping industry fears that the Indian sailors will ultimately be held responsible for the accident.

Earlier, on the morning of March 23, when Ever Given was advancing along the Suez Canal, it was initially reported that the direction of the ship was bent due to strong dust and strong winds. In such a situation, it blocks the canal horizontally.

As a result, about 300 cargo ships got stuck on both sides of the canal. Many ships have to sail all over Africa via Cape Town to Europe.


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