Abandoned Seafarer Tells of Conditions on MV Tamim Aldar
Human Rights at Sea has published a podcast made by Second Engineer Vikas Mishra, abandoned on the UAE-flagged MV Tamim Aldar.
Mishra has been abandoned for 33 months and not seen his family or his daughter since she was nine months old. He said: “We don’t have AC, we don’t have generators, we suffer a lot.”
A lack of lube and bunkers has meant that generators can not be run for more than an hour a day, and temperatures in the area are currently 40+ degrees Centigrade. For some crew, this is the third summer spent onboard in such conditions.
The men on board were sleeping outside at night and were subject to “many kind of cockroach and insects and mosquito and weather.” Due to a lack of food, they were becoming sick and also suffering depression, “feeling helpless.”
Mishra describes being required to sail the vessel when machinery such as boilers, air compressors and generators were not functional.
However, with the support of the UAE Federal transport Authority, lawyers from Fitche & Co, the Rev. Andy Bowerman of The Mission to Seafarers, numerous international media outlets, civil society organizations and supporters, the present case appears to drawing to a close. The vessel is being towed back to the UAE coast and port facilities.
Whether or not the remaining crew receive all wages owed under employment contracts from the owners, Eliteway Marines Services, is unclear.
Human Rights at Sea Founder, David Hammond, commented: “This shocking testimony by a professional Indian seafarer is one which needs to be heard, reviewed and used as an example highlighting the terrible conditions suffered by ordinary seafarers who have been abandoned by their owners for whatever reason. It is not often that the public are able to hear such evidence first-hand.”
The podcast is available here.