India Seeks “Urgent” Help for Sailors Stranded Off China | India News
There are nearly 1,500 sailors, many of them Indians, stranded on 74 ships in Chinese ports that have not been allowed to unload coal from Australia.
NEW DELHI: The government on Friday requested assistance for 39 Indian crew trapped on cargo ships in China in an “urgent, practical and time-bound manner”, reminding Beijing of the dire humanitarian situation that was developing on board the ships.
While acknowledging China’s remarks, expressing its willingness to provide assistance in this matter, the MEA said that Indian authorities were working with the shipping companies involved to facilitate a crew change and that the Indian embassy in Beijing had written to authorities. Chinese to request approval of the same.
While the Indian bulk cargo ship MV Jag Anand has been anchored near the Jingtang port in Hebei province since June 13 with 23 Indian nationals as crew on board, another vessel, MV Anastasia, with 16 Indian nationals remains at anchor. near Caofeidian port since September 20.
“Our embassy in Beijing has repeatedly addressed these cases with both the Chinese Foreign Ministry and local provincial authorities, requesting that ships be allowed to dock and / or that the crew be allowed to change. They have been following up. this matter over the past few months, “said MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava, adding that the Indian ambassador had personally discussed this issue with China’s Vice Foreign Minister. The issue has also been discussed with the Chinese embassy here.
Stating that it provides help to sailors and necessary supplies, Beijing had previously said that China allows crew changes while meeting certain quarantine conditions and that the port of Jingtang was not on the list for such a crew change. The Chinese embassy had said this week that the “real cause” of the situation was that the freight forwarder did not want to adjust the plans due to commercial interests.
Ships with Indians awaited the unloading of their cargo. “There is increasing stress on the crew due to the long delay. Given this and our concern over increasingly difficult conditions for our crew, these two cases are being vigorously investigated,” Srivastava said.