MV Jag Anand crew change to take place in Japan, 23 stuck Indian sailors to fly back
23 Indian sailors onboard Indian ship Jag Anand which has been stuck at Chinese port of Jingtang since June last year, have finally got respite as the ship is all set to sail to Chiba, Japan for a crew change.
Given the grave humanitarian situation, Indian Ambassador in China Vikram Misri had personally taken up this issue with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister. After prolonged talks between Indian and Chinese sides, the ship will finally sail to Japan for crew change. After being on board for around a year since it started the voyage from Australia laden with Australian coal, the crew members will be finally relieved from the ship.
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandavia said in a tweet that the seafarers will reach Chiba port, Japan on 14th January 2021 and after following due protocols related to COVID-19, they will fly back to India. Mr Mandaviya appreciated the humanitarian approach of the Great Eastern Shipping Company towards the seafarers and standing by them in this crucial time.
The Great Eastern Shipping Company, the owner of the vessel told Prasar Bharati, as of now, ship will come back to Chinese port of Jingtang with a new team of crew members boarding the ship in Japan, unless there are any fresh instructions from the owners of the cargo. The company said that new team of crew members is ready in Japan. The return of the 23 stuck sailors will depend on the local regulations at Japanese port on the day they reach as Japan is witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Earlier the cargo owner was not allowing the ship to move away from Jingtang port, along with the cargo.
Other ship MV Anastasia with Indian crew is exploring the possibility of a crew change at its current point of anchorage in Caofeidian. Indian Embassy has written to Chinese authorities for approval of the same.
Chinese side said that while crew change is allowed at other ports following certain quarantine conditions, it is not allowed at Jingtang port even with Quarantine. They conveyed to Indian Embassy in late November 2020 that while crew change from Jingtang port would not be feasible, the shipping company may apply for crew rotation from Tianjin port, and that the local authorities would examine after receiving requests for the same. The concerned shipping companies have been asked to make crew change applications expeditiously.