As we are aware that due to corona spread and then subsequent lockdowns all over the world, seafarers are not able to sign off or join ship. Well it is not matter of few weeks, but months now. Captain of a ship named China Dawn, reportedly diverted the ship to India citing the reasons of overdue contracts and sign off. With master having the highest authority when it comes to ship, they can take measures to ensure safety of ship and crew. It is known that captain after discussion with ship owners did that.
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Sailing from Australia to South Africa in mid-March, Kannan and six of his crew expected to be relieved and fly back home to their families, but four days before the China Dawn reached Port Elizabeth, he received the news that South Africa had banned entry to seafarers. Three days later, his native India went into lockdown and all flights were cancelled.
“We have nowhere to go,” he says. “The company was trying its best to take us off, but where will we get the relief, where will they let us off?”
Sailing to Singapore, Kannan diverted the ship to India to allow disembarkation of Indian nationals. If that is not permitted, “Very soon we are coming to the stage where we have to go on strike,” he says. “How long can we endure it? People want the cargo but what about the seafarers? Everyone talks of the doctors, the army and the police, but I don’t think people even know we exist.”
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Image Credits: To Respective Owners, used for information purpose only.
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