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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Let my people go

The SCA is under growing pressure to release the Ever Given’s crew… Crew members stranded on board the Ever Given “should not be held to ransom” as the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) seeks compensation from the ship’s owners for last month’s blockage of the waterway, the head of the National Union of Seafarers of India told the Guardian. Some 26 Indian seafarers aren’t permitted to leave the Evergreen-chartered vessel, which the SCA seized last week as it demands USD 916 mn in compensation from the ship’s owners as a “salvage bonus” and for damages to the canal’s embankment and to the canal’s global reputation. Two crew members were allowed on Thursday to leave the vessel and return to India due to “urgent personal circumstances,” SCA boss Osama Rabie recently said.

…Even though this isn’t the first time a crew gets stuck at sea: The International Labor Organization has a database with an almost endless list of seafarers that were left behind in ports around the world, sometimes due to disappearing owners and other times outstanding disputes. “It is surprisingly common for ships and their crews to be stranded,” says the Guardian, recounting the story of Mohamed Aisha, who has been living on board a vessel abandoned off the Gulf of Suez for over two years. Elsewhere, Vice tells the story of an entire society that developed in the Great Bitter Lake when 14 ships were anchored in the aftermath of the 1967 war.

IN OTHER NEWS FROM THE SCA- Plans to develop and potentially expand the Suez Canal were on the agenda for Rabie and US Central Command Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy Maj. Gen. Scott Benedict during a meeting in Ismailia yesterday, according to a statement.

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