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Seafarers’ body writes to DG Shipping for the safety of the Indian crew as the freighter cannot leave the Suez Canal unless a billion dollars is paid India News

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NEW DELHI: The Seafarers’ Union of India has sent urgent letters to the Directorate General for Shipping and the German ship management company Bernhard Schulte Ship Management (BSM) after the Ever Given container ship with 25 Indian crew to board was rejected Egyptian authorities will leave the Suez Canal until the ship’s owners pay $ 1 billion in compensation for the canal blockade last month.
The union demanded that “the Indian crew be safe and sound, and that the Egyptian authorities treat them well.”
The Panama-registered cargo ship owned by the Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen Kaisha has three crew members from Mumbai and mostly from southern states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The 2-lakh-ton freighter, which ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23 for more than a week, is still trapped in Egypt’s Great Bitter Lake as it has not been allowed to leave.
“The ship will remain here until investigations are completed and compensation ($ 1 billion) is paid,” Lieutenant General Osama Rabie, who heads the Suez Canal Authority, recently told a local news station. “We look forward to a quick settlement,” he said, adding that “the moment they agree on compensation, the ship will be allowed to move.”
In his letters to DG Shipping and BSM, union president Abhijeet D Sangle demanded that “the Indian crew on board Ever Given be not held hostage by the Egyptian authorities. They should be treated well … In case you receive any complaints, we (the union) will definitely demand the approval (of the crew) as soon as possible. ”
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Sangle said: “The Suez Canal Authority estimates the losses for the week ending March 29, when the Ever Given got stuck (in the canal) and blocked traffic through the canal, at $ 95 million in tariffs for lost traffic. There are also the costs of releasing the ship and other expenses to be reimbursed. ”
He said: “Now there are two captains on board the ship. First is from Kerala, who was running the ship when the accident happened. Chennai’s second captain is also on board to replace the first. Other members of the crew are from Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and some from northern India. ”
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Previously DG Shipping Amitabh Kumar had said: “If we receive any complaint from the company that the investigation is not impartial, then of course we will intervene. But so far we have not received any such complaints. ”
When the Ever Given stalled, more than 400 freighters and tankers were stranded on both sides of the Suez Canal and Egyptian authorities suffered huge financial losses. The Egyptian authorities took more than 12 days since March 23 to clear the backlog of ships from the 193 km strategic passage that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.

Times of India

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