As the Suez Canal grounded ship Ever Given commences on its journey, concern about its all Indian crew was put to rest. As per officials in Egypt , the 25 Indian crew are in good health and are commencing on the journey to Rotterdam.
The crew won’t be replaced as of now and will sail to Rotterdam if it is deemed fit after full inspection.
“They (crew) are safe and in good health… Their hard work and tireless professionalism are greatly appreciated”, said the ship management company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM).
BSM manages the Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen Kaisha-owned ship. Ever Given is a Panama-registered ship.
Crew Safe, No Intervention Required
Directorate General of shipping Amitabh Kumar reiterated this when he said that the crew remains unharmed.
“As there is no harm to the Indian crew, there is no reason for us to intervene right now. As per the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), any vessel that has met with an accident has to be investigated as per its convention. This is called ‘casualty investigation’.
The same will be conducted on this vessel. It will be a fact-finding inquiry. The report is normally submitted by the flag state. If we receive any complaint from the company that the inquiry is not impartial, then of course we will intervene. But so far we have not received any such complaint”, said Kumar.
India is a reliable source of marine manpower and supplies a significant number of seafarers to the maritime industry.
“On average, India sends around 2.4 lakh seafarers every year. Of them, 2.1 lakh sea-farers work on foreign ships and 30,000 on Indian ships, said the DG Shipping.
Casualty Investigation Underway
Abhijeet Sangle, working president of the All India Seafarers and General Workers Union, said “BSM, which has its branch in Andheri (Mumbai), informed us that of the 25 crew members, three are from Mumbai, some are from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and some from north India. However, the company did not disclose the names of the captain or other crew for security reasons.”
“The company told us that a full inspection of the ship, including its hull and engine, and its cargo is currently on. If the ship is found fit, then the vessel with the same crew will move to its next destination to Rotterdam without any further delay”, he added.
Sangle revealed that BSM will check the digital video recorder of the ship’s passing to determine the cause of the accident.
“They will find out who’s at fault; the ship captain or the canal pilot, who helped steer the big vessel through the narrow canal. As per rules, if a captain is held liable, he or she, the duty officer in charge, and the respective able seamen will be signed off and may not be enrolled again. But it’s too early to say anything,” Sangle added further.