Twenty-three Indian seafarers on the ship, MV Jag Anand, who were stuck at a Chinese port at anchorage for over seven months, have landed in India at the Cochin airport on Wednesday, according to a statement. The 23 seamen aboard MV Jag Anand were reportedly not allowed by the Chinese authorities to either dock or go for a crew change over coronavirus restrictions.
The two seamen's unions - the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and the Maritime Union of India (MUI) - together had been exploring several options to bring them back home, according to the statement on Thursday. NUSI is happy that the Indian seafarers arrived the Cochin airport, said its General Secretary-cum-Treasurer Abdulgani Y Serang in the release.
On their arrival at the Cochin airport in Kerala on Wednesday, the seafarers of Jag Anand were given a grand welcome by NUSI and a large number of seafarers, said the release. "NUSI appreciates the support and direction of Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Director General Shipping Amitabh Kumar, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), the Great Eastern Shipping, individual seafarers, and their family members..in extending support to bring our seafarers back, " he added.
Serang also said it is a matter of pride that these seafarers "continued to discharge their duties even in these challenging times". NUSI along with MUI took up the matter of the seaferers nationally and internationally, with the Great Eastern Shipping, the Indian maritime administration, shipping ministry, external affairs ministry, and Prime Minister's Office, among others, it said.
The ITF extended their strong support in solidarity, said the release. It added that on the advice of NUSI, thousands of seafarers sent protest e-mails to the IMO Secretary-General to initiate effective measures. IMO stands for the International Maritime Organization. Besides, NUSI also provided counselling to the seafarers onboard and their families through its counselling helpline, it added.