Unpaid Tanker Crews Head Home
The crew of two oil tankers stranded for several months off India have disembarked without any assurances about the wages they are owed.
The 26 Indian sailors have been in a legal wrangle over unpaid wages, and one tried to jump overboard last week, saying he could not provide for his family. The men are reported to be owed around six months' wages for their time on the tankers Nautical Global XVI and Nautical Global VII.
Another 12 seafarers, including the master and four Pakistanis, remain on board. “The man who wanted to jump was the first to go off board,” said Captain Suchittar Kumar Sharma. “Conditions at his home are pathetic, because he has had no money to send, and they (his family) have little food to eat. Now at least he will be home with his family.”
According to local media in the Middle East, the tankers were arrested on February 27 by an Indian high court order following a maritime claim for damages by Dubai-based chartering company Nautical Global Ship Management against shipowners Gulf Shipping Services.
Nautical Global Ship Management has detailed damages due to faulty machinery and petitioned for the ships’ arrest on grounds that the owners would not pay for losses suffered, reports The National.
The crew also filed a claim for their wages.
The vessels remain at anchor off Kandla Port on India's west coast. When food ran low last week, a local charity provided the men with lentils, rice, bread, flour and eggs, but shortly after, the men gave up hope of assurances about their wages and chose to go home.