MV Astoria, a Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) ship has been held off Tilbury docks by the UK Maritime and Coastal Agency. The grounds specified by MCA was a concern for crew welfare.
Preventive detention has been served to MV Astoria in Tilbury, Essex for the time being till a complete assessment of the living conditions of the crew members is carried out.
Officials have also held four additional ships in the same port and one from Bristol on grounds of inspection.
“We have a duty of care to investigate a number of serious concerns,” said an MCA official.
A Cruise and Maritime Voyages(CMV) official assured full cooperation with the port authorities in this regard, saying that it is on top of their list.
Marine Insight had earlier reported how 164 seafarers stuck on board the ship staged a hunger strike requesting repatriation from Indian authorities.
As reported in our earlier article, an Indian Astoria crew member had died a couple of days back owing to cardiac arrest. The detention of the ship once again adds to the list of woes that CMV is facing right now.
The All India Seafarers Union had written to the government of India asking for the crew members onboard MV Astoria to be repatriated immediately. Indian citizens have been trapped onboard ships worldwide owing to the COVID outbreak for more than 100 days now.
“We issued preventative detention, which means the ship can’t leave until it has a full inspection.” said an MCA spokesperson.
Surveyors would take a good look at the ship and if everything was deemed clear, the ship would be allowed to embark on its journey.
Reference: BBC/ Guardian