5 Indian sailors stranded in UAE waters return home
Indian Consul General in Dubai Vipul, Dubai Consulate staff, social worker Girish Pant and sailors at the Sharjah International Airport on Sunday night.
Abu Dhabi - The sailors were struggling to survive without basic amenities like food, electricity and months of salary
Five Indian sailors, who were stranded in the UAE waters for months, returned home on Sunday night.
These sailors are among the many who are struggling to survive without basic amenities like food and electricity, and months of salary on board a dozen ships in the UAE waters.
It is due to consistent efforts initiated by the Consulate General of India that these five sailors of MV Sharjah Moon could return home.
"With our persistent efforts, five Indian sailors of Sharjah Moon stuck for many months returned home," Indian Consul General in Dubai Vipul said in his tweet after the departure of sailors from Sharjah International Airport.
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Local authorities, Panama mission and social workers joined forces with Dubai Consulate in the operation. Vipul noted the assistance provided by the UAE's Federal Transport Authority, Consulate General of the Republic of Panama and social worker Girish Pant.
The ship had been at anchorage for a year and sailors were surviving on limited provision for months.
On July 1, the Dubai Consulate was able to send back captain of the ship Jaiprakash, who hails from the North Indian state of Uttarakhand.
On Sunday, Subith Sukumaran from Kerala, Amit Chandel from Himachal Pradesh, Naib S from Haryana, Vikram S from Punjab and Harendra S from Uttar Pradesh flew back to India.
"Thank God," said Sukumaran as his ordeal came to an end. He also appreciated the effort taken by missions and social workers. He left for Kerala and rest four flew to New Delhi. Social worker Girish Pant said even though sailors are rescued there's still lot to be done.
"These sailors first contacted me and I took up the matter with Dubai Consulate. Afterwards, I and Consulate officials held meeting with the FTA and sorted out the matter. We followed the case for two months. CGI Vipul visited the ship once and was at airport on Sunday night. I am here for a decade now and haven't seen any Consul General working so actively for Indians. The sailors returned with half their salaries."
Pant said the local authorities need to be strict towards ship anchorage for months. As of now, ship's chief engineer is the only person remaining onboard and awaiting a reliever.
"So far, 19 Alco Shipping sailors have returned. Few more will be back home by end of this month," he hoped.