Officials of the concerned departments, such as the Bangladesh Shipping Department were unable to share information regarding the return of sailors to the homeland. Some have to say that the major reason for the delay is the lack of agreement regarding compensation and sailors wishing to be back in the country together.
On the 29 April evening, the ship’s owner had pledged to bring back stranded sailors within about a week. However, three weeks passed since his promise. No decision has yet been made. To repatriate the stranded sailors, letters have been delivered to the DG Shipping of India, Kolkata Port Authority, Bangladesh High Commission in India, Ministry of External Affairs, Indian High Commission in Bangladesh, and the Ministry of Shipping.
Container vessels between the countries are operating via the Coastal Shipping Agreement following the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh.
Per news sources, on 20 March, 15 sailors departed from Chittagong port for Kolkata on the ship named ‘MV-MarinTrust-01’. There they arrived on March 23. At around 9 am on 24 March, the ship capsized and overturned after it unloaded the cargo containers at Kolkata Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Port’s Lot No. 5. That is when these sailors got off the vessel. Onboard the ship was 120 containers and 45 containers of 20 feet and 40 feet, respectively. The containers weighed about 3,089 metric tonnes. The ship was scheduled to depart from Kolkata and arrive at Chittagong port on 25 March.
On 28 April, around the afternoon, 15 sailors uploaded a short video message on social media platforms. Via a video, they expressed the desire to be back in Bangladesh.
Describing what happened in the accident, Fahim Faisal, the ship’s chief engineer said that the Kolkata Port Authority made them stay at the Marine Club Hotel. Their passports have been seized and are under siege for more than a month now.
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