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23 Sailors Stranded in Chinese Waters for Months Set to Return to India on Jan 14

Representative image/Reuters

Representative image/Reuters

Citing coronavirus restrictions, Chinese authorities have not allowed the ships, MV Jag Anand and MV Anastasia, to either dock or go for a crew change for months. Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted that 23 of the Indian crew members onboard MV Jag Anand are on their way back to India.

More than 20 of the 39 Indian sailors stranded in Chinese waters are set to reach India on January 14, Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.

Citing coronavirus restrictions, Chinese authorities have not allowed the ships, MV Jag Anand and MV Anastasia, to either dock or go for a crew change for months. Mandaviya tweeted that 23 of the Indian crew members onboard MV Jag Anand are on their way back to India.

“Our seafarers stuck in China are coming back to India! Ship M. V. Jag Anand, having 23 Indian crews, stuck in China, is set to sail toward Chiba, Japan to carry out crew change, will reach India on 14th January,” the minister tweeted.

In December, several the videos of stranded sailors describing their life on board as “jail-like” and holding placards pleading the government to make efforts to send them home had gone viral online.

On Friday, India said it is weighing several options to assist the sailors stranded on the two vessels, including a crew change at sea or at a Chinese port.

Both the are carrying Australian coal and have not been allowed to discharge their cargo. The situation is reportedly an outcome of the China-Australia trade row.

Abdulgani Serang, general secretary, National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), was quoted as saying by ThePrint that sailors are caught in the middle of a “trade war” between China and Australia and that the union had been counselling the sailors over phone.


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