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India crew stuck aboard bulk carrier in Chinese waters sign off from Japan

New Delhi | Updated on February 10, 2021 Published on February 10, 2021

A group of Indian sailors who were stuck in a cargo ship MV Anastasia in China will reach India on February 14, the Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Wednesday. The crew signed off from a nearby port in Japan.

Since September 20, the cargo vessel was stuck near Caofaedian Port and Chinese authorities did not permit the ship to either dock or change its crew citing Covid-19 related restrictions.

The crew, which were stuck on the ship for last five months, were allowed to sign off from the vessel. The 92,216 DWT bulk carrier was managed by MSC Ship Management, according to shipping industry sources. The owners of the Panama flagged ship, built at STX Dalian, are Greece-based Niki Shipping. The vessel is now anchored at Iwakuni Port, Japan.

“For ships stationed in China, usually crew reach from nearby ports of South Korea and Japan. So, Indian seafarers usually fly to either of these two countries for signing on or signing off,” explained an industry official.

"Great start of the day! Our stranded seafarers of MV Anastasia are coming back to India! The crew will sign off from Japan today and will reach India on 14th February. And soon will be reunited with their families! Appreciate the efforts of Indian Embassy in China and Team MSC," the Mandaviya tweeted.

On February 4, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said that China had conveyed its clearance on transfer of crew of MV Anastasia.

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Published on February 10, 2021
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