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Old 17th November 2020, 13:17   #1
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Default My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

My brother in law with other Indian sailors is currently serving on MV ANASTASIA and have been onboard for more than a year now, they are stuck on Anchorage in Caofeidian. The organization is not taking any steps to relieve them and this situation is detreating their mental as well as health condition.

This situation is created due to the trade issues in China and Australia, in which the crew has no part to play. They are doing their duties professionally however to get relieved after their contract is their basic right which now hangs in lurch.
This is a direct human right violation by the Governments and the maritime companies

I have started a petition on change but due to the TBHP rules I am not posting it here. If you would like to sign it would request you to sign it by searching on Change.

I need advice from BHPians on how to get help for him in this situation. China is not allowing them to berth and offload or change the crew and the charterer is not allowing them to go to different port for crew change.

Its a stalemate condition and no body is moving however this is proving to be very difficult for the crew mentally and physically.


The Actions taken by us are following:

1. Tweets to S Jayashankar, Mansukh Mandaviya and DG shipping.
2. Emails to ITF and NUSI
3. Change Petition
4. letters/emails to Home Ministry.
5. Mails to News agencies.

Please suggest what else we can do here to help our family members ?

This news is also covered in few of the leading news website but there is no help or hope coming out of it.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/2-in...months-2323997
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Old 17th November 2020, 13:49   #2
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

My deepest condolences to you. I can't even think the ordeal you must be going through during these already tough times.

Maybe you can try approaching the local politicians(MP&MLA),I know this doesn't sound very convincing but once the CM and other cabinet ministers take cognizance of this issue,the matter might be escalated in a more orderly manner.Try reaching as many national outlets through social media as you can.Let's pray your brother in law comes back soon.Also please post the link of your tweets, so that BHPians who are on twitter can retweet it.

@mods, maybe this one time we can make an exception and let the OP post his change.org link please.

Last edited by Abhi5868 : 17th November 2020 at 13:56.
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Old 17th November 2020, 14:01   #3
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

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Originally Posted by ShivrajG View Post
I need advice from BHPians on how to get help for him in this situation. China is not allowing them to berth and offload or change the crew and the charterer is not allowing them to go to different port for crew change.
Get in touch with an international law firm/maritime law firm? Will be an expensive proposition I'm sure, but in such cases better go with the professionals IMHO.

Edit: Shouldn't the shipping company that owns the ships be doing that anyway? After all, a ship sitting in a port for that long is a loss-making proposition for a company I would imagine.

Last edited by am1m : 17th November 2020 at 14:05.
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Old 17th November 2020, 15:31   #4
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

@Shivraj - The situation is really unfortunate and our best wishes to a speedy resolution. It is unfortunate that your brother in law is a political hostage in the trade war between China and Australia. Understand the full head count is at 21 Vessels / over 400 crew.

What is the latest from the vessel manager / owners and charterers?

I am very sorry that I am unable to offer any solution or guide you in the right direction, other than to say join with other similarly affected families as well.

Had read media reports that Indian Flagged Jag Anand had requested permission to carry out a crew change, this was also denied.

Trust you are in touch with him, he would definitely need all the moral support that and your sister can give him from here.

Stay positive

Last edited by ajmat : 17th November 2020 at 21:23.
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Old 17th November 2020, 15:58   #5
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

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Originally Posted by Abhi5868 View Post
Maybe you can try approaching the local politicians(MP&MLA),I know this doesn't sound very convincing but once the CM and other cabinet ministers take cognizance of this issue, the matter might be escalated in a more orderly manner.
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Yes we are trying on this level as well but due to Covid-19 issues its difficult to get hold of right people in the right places.
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Originally Posted by Abhi5868 View Post
@mods, maybe this one time we can make an exception and let the OP post his change.org link please.
Yes that would be helpful for the morale of the crew as they may see how many people stand in solidarity with them, but then again if its about forum rules I am not going to push you. If somebody wants to sign they can go to change and search for India Sailors in the search box and sign.

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Get in touch with an international law firm/maritime law firm? Will be an expensive proposition I'm sure, but in such cases better go with the professionals IMHO.

Edit: Shouldn't the shipping company that owns the ships be doing that anyway? After all, a ship sitting in a port for that long is a loss-making proposition for a company I would imagine.
Thank you for the sound advice
Yes! Law firms is the last option if nobody listens to us.
Shipping company is bound by the contract they have with the charterer (the owner of the cargo) that once they enter port they cannot leave the port before offloading the good's, the charterer is Chinese national and doesn't give two cents for Indian sailors plight.

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Originally Posted by Marshall View Post
Understand the full head count is at 21 Vessels / over 400 crew.

What is the latest from the vessel manager / owners and charterers?

Had read media reports that Indian Flagged Jag Anand had requested permission to carry out a crew change, this was also denied.
Thank you for your concern and advice
That's correct but these two vessel crew have not been changed from last 16-17 months. You are right about Jag Anand and MV Anastasia.

Owner and charterer both are not responding to their pleas.
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Old 17th November 2020, 16:16   #6
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

Truth be said only appealing to the soft side will help in the current scenario. Rope in as many parties as possible. Vessel owner is not likely to do anything to aggravate the Chinese, his investments are huge and any repurcussions will affect his container ships as well. Any idea who is the charterer in this case?

Last edited by ajmat : 17th November 2020 at 21:22.
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Old 17th November 2020, 16:30   #7
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

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Originally Posted by ShivrajG View Post
Please suggest what else we can do here to help our family members ?
This news is also covered in few of the leading news website but there is no help or hope coming out of it.
https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/2-in...months-2323997
The NDTV news link says "Jag Anand" is also stuck in China. This ship is owned by GE Shipping
https://www.greatship.com/business.html#fleet

Perhaps you can contact GE Shipping for any updates/progress? The management of GE Shipping is very likely to be in close communication with officials at Govt/foreign ministry.
https://www.marineinsight.com/shippi...rt-since-june/

My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!-screenshot_2.jpg

Last edited by SmartCat : 17th November 2020 at 16:37.
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Old 17th November 2020, 17:05   #8
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post

Perhaps you can contact GE Shipping for any updates/progress?
Yes DG shipping and the company MSC of MV Anastasia are saying this from last 3 months.
They do call up the family members and inform that within a week we will have a solution and will see positive results but nothing happens on the ground.

The guys onboard are very frustrated and tired of the way they are being treated.
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Old 17th November 2020, 18:09   #9
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

I'm a sailor myself, and had to serve beyond my contract length due to all the Covid chaos, but that was only a few months extra. I can only imagine what it must be like for the crew on your BIL's vessel.

The ITF may be your best bet here. They have stated that they will support crew members beyond maximum contract length who refuse to perform all but essential duties.

One of my friends actually used this threat against our employer after being stuck onboard for 7 months and managed to get an immediate response from them. However he was on a container ship, and his refusal to work would have meant that the vessel would have been prevented from sailing onwards

Given that MV Anastasia appears to be a bulk carrier, if the cargo does not require active care, and its discharge is not time critical from the charterer's POV, then this avenue may yield limited results.

You have mentioned the NUSI, have you also tried contacting the Maritime Union of India? You could also email the Indian embassy in Beijing as well as the nearest consulate.
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Old 17th November 2020, 19:20   #10
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since a year!

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Originally Posted by RadixLecti View Post
I'm a sailor myself, and had to serve beyond my contract length due to all the Covid chaos, but that was only a few months extra. I can only imagine what it must be like for the crew on your BIL's vessel.

The ITF may be your best bet here. They have stated that they will support crew members beyond maximum contract length who refuse to perform all but essential duties.

One of my friends actually used this threat against our employer after being stuck onboard for 7 months and managed to get an immediate response from them. However he was on a container ship, and his refusal to work would have meant that the vessel would have been prevented from sailing onwards

Given that MV Anastasia appears to be a bulk carrier, if the cargo does not require active care, and its discharge is not time critical from the charterer's POV, then this avenue may yield limited results.

You have mentioned the NUSI, have you also tried contacting the Maritime Union of India? You could also email the Indian embassy in Beijing as well as the nearest consulate.
Welcome to TBHP!

You will better understand the plight of the crew which has completed 17 months and more on the ship.

We have connected with ITF and they forwarded the email to Maritime Union and NUSI for support. Its been weeks after that and we don't see any movement. Every day BIL calls and he is more depressed than the day before.

They are carrying non active cargo and hence the charterer is not budging. They have given all kind of threats to the company but company states their contract with the charterer.

They are professional enough to complete their duties towards the organization but they need serious help now :(
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Old 17th November 2020, 20:30   #11
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Default re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

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Welcome to TBHP!
Thank you, though I really wish this was under more pleasant circumstances for you.

Quote:
You will better understand the plight of the crew which has completed 17 months and more on the ship.
Quote:
They are professional enough to complete their duties towards the organization but they need serious help now
I can easily imagine their frustration and helplessness. I hope the company/charterer are at least ensuring that they are supplied with decent provisions, drinking water, some means of communication for the crew, and that they have sufficient fuel for the generators in the meantime.

I also hope that at the very least the company is regularly paying the whole crew their wages, so they don't have to worry about their families' financial health as well, on top of everything else.

If the commercial entities involved can't break this deadlock then I feel only the ITF or diplomatic pressure can help. If you can find a contact in the nearest consulate to the port maybe something can be done.
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Old 18th November 2020, 12:58   #12
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Default Re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

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Originally Posted by RadixLecti View Post

I can easily imagine their frustration and helplessness. I hope the company/charterer are at least ensuring that they are supplied with decent provisions, drinking water, some means of communication for the crew, and that they have sufficient fuel for the generators in the meantime.
Yes they are being supplied with food, water and other required stuff. They have WhatsApp and other communication medium open for connectivity.
We are hoping that ITF and other diplomatic channels will help.
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Old 18th November 2020, 13:20   #13
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Default Re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

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Originally Posted by ShivrajG View Post
2. Emails to ITF and NUSI
Is there not another body, Maritime Union of India (MUI) which IIRC is a Union of Merchant Marine Officers? Why are they not in the picture? I think they are a member of ITF.
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Old 18th November 2020, 17:37   #14
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Default Re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

Some questions for my understanding about this industry:

1) Who owns the ship?
2) Who is has hired the ship for transportation services? What are the charges based on?
3) The crew is hired by the owner of the ship or by the one who has hired the ship?
4) How does the trade issue (presumably China not allowing in any Australian goods) lead to vessel and its crew stuck at port for indefinitely / unlimited time period?
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Old 18th November 2020, 17:50   #15
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Default Re: My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
1) Who owns the ship?
Some foreign company

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2) Who is has hired the ship for transportation services? What are the charges based on?
An Australian company. Charges are based on size of the ship and something like $30,000 per day.

Quote:
3) The crew is hired by the owner of the ship or by the one who has hired the ship?
Crew is hired by owner of the ship

Quote:
4) How does the trade issue (presumably China not allowing in any Australian goods) lead to vessel and its crew stuck at port for indefinitely / unlimited time period?
China is essentially a rogue country. Australia supported the US-led call for investigation on origins of Covid-19. Australia banned Huawei from 5G trials. Kicked out many Chinese "students" who were spying. This is China's idea of bringing Australia to the negotiating table. Many Western countries have advisories for executives working in China or visiting China. The advisory basically states that you can be detained for no reason, because of geopolitical tensions between the countries. Eg:

https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/china

My brother-in-law & other Indian sailors are stuck on anchorage in China, since mid-June!-screenshot_1.jpg

Last edited by SmartCat : 18th November 2020 at 17:59.
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