Scottish Daily Mail

Four cadets flying home after weeks stuck at sea

- By Jessica McKay

THE ordeal of four Scots cadets stranded in the Indian Ocean when the company that owned their ship collapsed has finally come to an end.

The four were expected to arrive in Scotland this morning after nearly a month offshore with food supplies running low.

Ruaridh Hanna, 22, from Beauly, Inverness-shire; David Gorniak, 27, from Springfiel­d, Fife; Gavin McPhail, 21, from Paisley, Renfrewshi­re; and a 25-year-old who has asked not to be named were among an estimated 2,500 seafarers stuck at sea.

Speaking to BBC Scotland after going ashore in Singapore, Mr Hanna said: ‘It’s certainly a good feeling to set foot on land and get into the airport and get the flight tickets in your hands.

‘A few times before we left there was a possibilit­y of us getting off but it didn’t really come to fruition, so now we’ve got the flight tickets we’re all pretty happy.’

He added: ‘We were drifting off Colombo [Sri Lanka] and we started running out of food.’

On learning he was heading home, his mother, Rhona Maclen-

‘Started running out of food’

nan, 53, said: ‘It is the best news. We have been waiting for this for some time now.’

The cadets, from Clyde Marine Training, had been on a placement with Hanjin Shipping as part of their City of Glasgow College course when the South Korean firm hit financial trouble.

They joined the Liberia-flagged Hanjin Louisiana in May and had been due to leave the vessel on September 2.

However, after Hanjin went into receiversh­ip in August, ports refused to allow its ships to dock.

But yesterday the vessels were finally allowed into harbour in Singapore, after the country’s high court granted a temporary reprieve for Hanjin ships to dock without fear of being seized.

The four Scots’ repatriati­on is being paid for by Zodiac Maritime, their sponsors for the work placement.

A Clyde Marine Training spokesman said: ‘We are delighted all four cadets are now ashore and will shortly be flying home to rejoin their families. They remain in good health and we are glad this situation has been resolved.’

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