Eight Indian Sailors Stranded in Dubai Waters Without Wages for 9 Months

The Indian crew members of Panama-flagged ship MV Topman said that the company abandoned them after paying one month’s salary.


Eight Indian sailors have been stuck in Dubai for nine months after being abandoned by their company, Gulf News reported.  

The sailors, known to be crew members of Panama-flagged ship MV Topman, entered the Dubai waters in November 2017 and say that they have been staying there without adequate food, fuel, and only one-month wages, the report said.  

The Indian crew members stated that the company they were working for abandoned them after paying one month’s salary and without providing enough ration to survive. They also claimed that they twice received food from Nautical Institute UAE, the publication reported. 

The ship is now running out of fuel, and they have started rationing the fuel for night time, the sailors said. During  the day, they take shelter under a tarpaulin roof made by them.  

“We are just surviving. We have lost seven-eight kilos. We don’t have energy in us. Our families are suffering back home. The situation is so tough that we are on the verge of suicide,” one of the sailors was quoted as saying by the publication.  

Their sailors added that they are unable to leave the ship as they do not contain any valid residential papers to stay in the UAE. Also, all the valid credentials of the ship have expired.  

“If any accident or medical emergency happens, we cannot even go out to seek help. The ship’s MLC complaint certificate and all the firefighting appliances are expired,” a senior crew member said.  

The sailors have approached several authorities to seek early repatriation. The Federal Transport Authority (FTA) of the UAE has asked the Indian owner of the ship to resolve the issues with the sailors within a few days, to avoid getting banned in the country, the report added.  

The company is facing financial crisis, which can be solved only after selling the ship, a spokesperson told the publication.  

“We had given them an option to go home with one month’s salary and we will pay the rest after the sale. But they are not ready to do that. We have also made arrangements with the canteen in DMC to give them lunch and dinner,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.  

The Indian Consulate in Dubai said that it is aware of the plight of the sailors, and is in touch with the crew members as well as the company to fix the situation. “We are also in touch with the FTA and the Panama Consulate to resolve the issues of sea-fares of the ship,” the consulate was quoted as saying.  

Earlier this month, an Indian ship which was abandoned for two years in the United Kingdom, was finally put up for sale. Four crew members of the Indian ship Malaviya Twenty spent months on the stranded vessel, before UK’s Admiralty Marshal put it up for sale to recover the money for crew payments and port fee. 

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