Abu Dhabi, January 13: At least 10 sailors, including 8 Indian nationals, have been stranded on a vessel off the coast in UAE for the last 33 months. Their passports and seamen books have been confiscated by the authorities at Sharjah anchorage, whereas, the ship has been abandoned by the Abu Dhabi-based firm which owns it -- as it has run into losses.
The ship is hovering around in the jurisdiction of Sharjah anchorage, with limited food supplies and medication being supplied by the Consulate General of India, Dubai, which the crew allege is "insufficient". Sikkim: Indian Army Rescued Over 1,500 Tourists Stranded Near China Border.
The group of Indians onboard have succeeded to reach out to the English daily TOI, and through it, they have appealed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to rescue them.
"It is as if we are slaves who have been abandoned. We are living pathetic lives and are unable to return home as we have not been given a sign off by the management. Our salaries are also pending for several months,” Captain Ayyapan Swaminathan, one of the stranded Indians, was quoted as saying.
Other Indian nationals onboard have been identified as Ramesh Gadela and Yalla Rao Chekka, belonging to Andhra Pradesh; Alok Pal from Uttar Pradesh, Naskar Sourabh from West Bengal, Rajib Ali from Assam, Bharath Haridass and Gurunathan Ganesan from Tamil Nadu.
Apart from the 8 Indian sailors, one Sudanese and one Tananzian national are also stranded on the vessel, identified as 'M V Azraqmoiah'.
The three Mumbai-based recruitment firms, which had sent the Indian sailors for the crew jobs, have been identified as Rassiya Shipping Services Private Limited, Oath Marine Services Private Ltd and Krishnamrutam Enterprises Pvt Ltd.
The vessel was being managed by Abu Dhabi-based Elite Way Marine Services -- which has run into massive financial losses, and has even failed to credit the salaries of the sailors for the past several months.