As many as 41 Indian sailors in four merchant ships are stranded in UAE’s Ajman anchorage after their owner seized their passports and was untraceable, reports Times of India. Out of the four ships, two are reportedly leaking thereby forcing the stranded sailors to send SOS messages to save their lives. Family members of the sailors have tweeted to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj — who is also known for her Twitter responses — asking for help. The sailors too have repeatedly been tweeting to various stakeholders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister V K Singh, International organisations like Sailors’ Society and Seafarers UK.
The Indian embassy in Riyadh also directed the sailors to approach the Consulate General of India in Dubai. Narrating their ordeal on Twitter, some of the sailors tweeted that they have run out on diesel and few among them had not been paid for almost 15 months. According to the report, the sailors were surviving on dal and rice whilst facing shortage of water. The sailors also said that when they called their owner to report holes inside the vessel, the owner reportedly put them off by asking them to call “only when the ship begins sinking or someone dies.” According to the Captain, the owner had taken the passports of all the sailors and could not be traced anymore.
Sushma Swaraj on Friday took note of the incident and assured that the incident would be resolved. Tweeting a copy of the report, Swaraj said: “I have seen the news report. We will resolve this.”