Sailors Return Home After Five Month Ordeal
The ordeal of 16 sailors stranded in Baharini waters since December has come to an end as 14 Indian crew members returned home Monday and two Myanmar crew members are set to depart today.
The sailors have been waiting to return home for five months following a dispute between Singapore-based 7Seas Ship management and two Bahraini companies.
In December, The Mongolian vessel MT Surya Kuber arrived in Bahrain for repairs, but was subsequently detained after refusing to pay Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) for their services. An official court ruling in Bahrain was handed down in February banning the vessel from leaving until all debts have been settled after ASRY initiated legal action against 7Seas Ship management.
In addition to the approximately $220,000 owed to the Bahraini claimants ASRY and Kanoo Shipping, the Singaporian company also owes the crew members for backed wages since October; an amount totaling in at $118,000.
Lawyers in Bahrain will be handling the sailor’s case for lost wages and the Indian Embassy first secretary similarly told Bahraini news sources that they will be monitoring the sailor’s case as well.The same vessel, previously under the name Prathiba Koyna, was at the center of a 2012 controversy when 34 Indian sailors were similarly stranded for five months while receiving no compensation.
The Indian embassy paid for the air fare for the Indian sailors to return home and raised community donations to buy tickets for the Myanmar citizens as well.