Sixteen Indian sailors who are stranded on a cargo ship in Chinese waters for nearly four months will sign off in Japan on Wednesday and reach the country by February 14, Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.
"Great start of the day! Our stranded seafarers of MV Anastasia are coming back to India! The crew will sign off from Japan today and will reach India on 14th Feb. And soon will be reunited with their families! Appreciate the efforts of Indian Embassy in China and Team MSC," Mandaviya tweeted.
Thirty-nine Indian crew members were stranded on two cargo ships in Chinese waters out of whom 23 on board MV Jag Anand returned to India last month.
Last month, India sought "urgent, practical and time-bound" assistance to 39 Indian sailors stranded on the two ships considering the "grave" humanitarian situation developing on board the vessels.
Citing coronavirus-related restrictions, Chinese authorities did not allow the ships to either dock or go for a crew change for months.
Indian bulk cargo vessel MV Jag Anand, with 23 Indian sailors, had been on anchorage near Jingtang port in Hebei province of China since June 13 last year while MV Anastasia, with 16 Indians as its crew, had been on anchorage near Caofeidian port since September 20.