Home on the hori­zon for stranded crew

Sailors stranded with­out pay for a year get chance to re­coup losses

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIERAN BEATTIE

The end is in sight for the ma­rooned crew of an off­shore sup­ply ves­sel from In­dia who have been stuck in Aberdeen har­bour for the past year due to non­pay­ment of wages.

The sea­far­ers of the Malaviya Seven ves­sel have been trapped in the north-east since last June when a rou­tine in­spec­tion re­vealed they had not been paid for sev­eral months.

Al­though they are des­per­ate to re­turn to their fam­i­lies in Mum­bai, they

“The first thing I’m go­ing to do when I go home is hug my fam­ily”

have been un­able to leave Aberdeen for fear they could for­feit £613,000 of wages they are owed by In­dian com­pany GOL off­shore, which is now in the process of liq­ui­da­tion.

Since they were first stranded, the 12 men have been in­volved in an on­go­ing le­gal bat­tle for the right to sell the ves­sel to re­coup their pay.

Yes­ter­day, at Aberdeen Civil Court, they breathed a sigh of re­lief when Sher­iff Wil­liam Sum­mers ap­proved a mo­tion for the Malaviya Seven to be sold at auc­tion.

The sale will be ad­ver­tised in ad­vance and over- seen by a sher­iff clerk. Af­ter leav­ing the court­house yes­ter­day, the crew re­turned to their ves­sel to cel­e­brate the good news, but ship cap­tain Ashish Prab­hakar said there are still a few weeks to go be­fore the first of his crew will be able to go home.

He added: “To­day has been re­ally pos­i­tive, this news means that some of us can go home soon and the so­lu­tion is on the way.

“We’re go­ing to be able to get some of the crew home as soon as we can, but it all de­pends on how fast the process goes.

“We’re all very happy that this is nearly at an end. The first thing I’m go­ing to do when I go home is hug my fam­ily and spend some qual­ity time – as well as checking my bank balance.”

Doug Dun­can, re­gional port chap­lain for the Apostle­ship of the Sea in Aberdeen, has been one of the many peo­ple at Aberdeen Har­bour sup­port­ing the crew through­out their hard­ship.

He said: “I’m very pleased with the de­ci­sion of the court.

“It’s still a way to go be­fore the end, al­though the first guys could be go­ing home very soon, pos­si­bly within weeks. It’s more than likely to take even as much as 10 weeks be­fore ev­ery­one can fi­nally go home.”

Pho­to­graph by Kami Thom­son

LONG OR­DEAL: The Malaviya Seven crew have been stranded in Aberdeen Har­bour since June last year.

The Malaviya Seven can now be sold at auc­tion

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