Eleven sailors have been marooned off the UAE coast for more than six months.
The nine Indians and two Pakistanis on board the Iron Monger 3 have been rationing food, water and fuel brought by volunteers and the Indian Consulate. The tanker was headed for a scrapyard in Asia but ran out of fuel and dropped anchor 10 nautical miles off the coast of Khorfakkan when the ship’s owner went bust.
The Taipei Times reported Taiwan Maritime Transportation Co Ltd (TMT) has filed for bankruptcy with a total debt of more than $800 million. The captain of the vessel, Qazi Iqbal Sami, told 7DAYS: “We just want to see some land. The men are very distressed and want to go home.”
However, neither the captain nor the crew can desert the vessel. Sami said: “We can’t leave even if we want to. By regulation, a ship cannot be left unmanned. We don’t have permits to leave unless a relief crew is sent in our place.”
The ship is in UAE waters and supplies are being sent to Iron Monger 3 by the Mission to Seafarers in Dubai. The senior chaplain, Dr Paul Burt, said: “The situation needs to be resolved by arresting the vessel as the owners have filed for bankruptcy... but even in a best case scenario we are probably looking at another six months.”