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19 Indians among stranded crew in damaged ship off Kalange Port in Malaysia

Friday March 11, 2011 12:04:42 PM, Pervez Bari,

Bhopal: Nineteen Indians in a crew of 24 of M. T. Voyager-1, a vessel oil tanker, carrying a cargo of 40,000 tonnes diesel from Singapore to Karachi Port in Pakistan is stranded in the international waters off Malaysia’s Kalange Port for about a week due two big fires in engine room that has burnt down main engine turbine completely with other damages in the ship.

Reports reaching here said that among the Indian crew is Bhopal’s 29-year-old Danish Haseeb, 4th Engineer, along with nationals from four other countries. Apart from India the other crew members are Filipino (01), Pakistan (01), Russian (01), and Egyptian (02).

Haseeb’s mother Mrs. Laeequa Haseeb and Chief Engineer M. A. Imtiaz on receiving SOS message from their ward have shot off a letter to the president of ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) headquartered at London, an organization which overlooks the interests of the members in the transport industry, for help. They have requested the ITF to intervene to save the life of their ward along with other crew members of the ship who are in a state of delirium following the breakdown of the ship in the sea. All communication channels of the ship have been snapped, it is learnt.

The crew members working round the clock to overcome all problems while they sailed from Singapore a week back after loading the cargo at the speed of just two nautical miles per hour when the normal speed should have been 18-20 nautical miles per hour. With no success in fixing the problem and get the ship going at normal speed all the officers and other crew members have given in writing to the Master of the ship to get them signed off at the earliest as the ship is not at all seaworthy and safe for sailing. It is also causing oil pollution in the sea.

However, Dubai-based owners and officials of the Oyscer Shipping Company to which the ship belongs are insisting to continue sailing at any cost till it reaches Dubai for necessary repairs. The ship owner of M. T. Voyager-1 is an Iranian and is registered and flagged in Barbados, West Indies. The ship has I.M.O. No. 910506 while Call Sign is 8PAA. The Indian local agent is Mehdi Shipping Company based at Lokhandwala, Andheri West, Mumbai. The Director is Ali Mehdi.

It may be mentioned here that Capt. Munnalal of India who was Master of the ship signed off at Singapore a month back on February 10 last citing the reason that the ship is in bad shape and not safe for sailing at all. Thereafter, the company replaced him with a Filipino as Master of the ship.

Talking to this Correspondent on phone from Mumbai Capt. Munnalal said: “I signed off on February 10 from the ship at Singapore after fire broke down in the engine room causing major damages. The repeated requests to the owners to get the ship repaired had no bearing as the company continue say to sail on to the next port and bring it back to Dubai for necessary actions”.

He said the company is not bothered as in case of any eventuality the ship being insured the owners would get hefty compensation at the cost of crew members. “The ship is very dangerous for the crew and as such I left it for my own safety and that of my family”, he moaned.






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