Indian Sailors Stuck off Chinese Coast May Deboard in Japan Today, Crew on 2nd Stranded Ship Dejected

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Twenty three seafarers stranded aboard Indian vessel MV Jag Anand off the Chinese coast for the past 10 months are set to return via Japan’s Chiba Port. However, there seems to be a delay.

An official said that they will reach Chiba port on January 14 and after following procedures related to Covid-19 protocols, they will fly back to India. A media report, however, states that the arrival in Japan has been deferred to January 18.

The ship, ‘Jag Anand’, carrying a huge consignment of Australian coal to China, had been stuck at Jingtang port since June.

Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had also said that another vessel, MV Anastasia, with 16 Indian nationals as its crew, was at Caofeidian port in China since September 20, was waiting for discharge of cargo.

Gaurav Singh, navigation officer on board Anastasia, told News18 that the crew members feel disheartened as they have not received any information about their return yet. “Sailors feel that Jag Anand is an Indian-flagged ship and hence, its release was smooth due to government’s pressure but we are stuck because we are Panamanian flag ship,” he said.

“Our company contacted the receiver of the cargo to divert the vessel to Japan day before yesterday and straight away he denied the request and stated that if we try to divert, we will be taken to court and crew would be arrested,” Singh added.

The two ships — the Swiss-Italian MV Anastasia and the Indian bulk carrier Jag Anand — were transporting coking coal to China. But since they were refused permission by the Chinese authorities to offload their cargo, they have no choice but to wait it out. Nor is China allowing the shipping companies to send in other sailors relieve the crew.


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