Repost: Around a thousand seafarers from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are among a large number of Indian seafarers awaiting crew change during COVID-19 lockdown.
Despite completing their stipulated number of months on the ships, seafarers are having to stay put. As changing of crew is not being facilitated at many ports, those who have completed their training and are spending up to Rs 5 lakh are unable to join ships.
Most of the seafarers affected are from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Vizag in AP and Hyderabad in Telangana. At least 1,000 Telugu seafarers are stuck on different ships and another 2,300 are waiting to get onboard. “The issue has been taken up and it is being facilitated at some ports. Seafarers from the Telugu states are mostly in the cargo ships,” said Capt. Sanjay Prashar, Chairman of International Maritime Federation (IMG) and member of National Shipping Board.
Efforts are on to assist the seafarers and facilitate a crew change. On Friday, Sanjay announced that the port hotel was the first private quarantine facility in Vizag dedicated to seafarers.
Disembarking from the ships has also been a problem, but with the issue being taken up with everyone concerned, 168 crew members of SS Voyager disembarked at Mumbai Port Trust. All of them have tested negative for COVID-19 and are on their way home to different states At 19 ports in the country, crew change has been agreed for. As special flights are being operated only from a few countries, seafarers cannot hope to return to India
The Times of India