Seafarers Union Worried About Harassment Of Suez Canal Grounded Ship Crew

As the Suez Canal ship grounding investigation intensifies the concern for the ship’s all Indian crew grows. Amidst this, the All India Seafarers Union have appealed to the Director-General of Shipping to take care of the 25 Indian seafarers onboard the vessel.

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In a letter written to the Director-General of Shipping, AISU has expressed concern over how the seafarers are being treated by the investigating officers.

“We have come to know that a detailed investigation is being conducted into what went wrong with the ship,” said Abhijeet Sangle, a marine engineer and working president of the union.

Ever Given ran aground on 23 March and continues to block the Suez Canal.

“Specifically, we want to know if investigating authorities are complying with Maritime Labour Convention and International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines while the crew is on board”, he added.

So far, the investigators have asked the captain whether the ship was involved in any such accidents in the past, revealed media reports.

The investigators have also asked the captain for access to the ship’s black box and the captain gave them that.

According to statements issued by the Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie on April 6 the VDR or the black box was being examined.

Ever Given’s technical manager, the ship management company, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), said “The 25 Indian crew and master of the giant ship will continue to remain on board the ship ‘for the time being’, the company which is the technical manager of the ship”.

The alleged grounding happened on 23rd March and the ship was relocated on 29th March with the help of 14 tugs. The ship was then taken to the Great Bitter Lake which is part of the SCA for further investigation and repairing.

“All crew members are in good health and remain safely onboard for the time being to assist with ongoing investigations carried out by investigators from the SCA, UK P&I Club and BSM’s technical team,” said a spokesperson from BSM.