ON 13 OCTOBER 2017

All in the shipping industry were saddened by the news of year 2010 built bulk carrier M.V. Emerald Star in the Pacific Ocean. With an entire complement of twenty six comprising of Indian seafarers. Japanese Coast Guard received a distress call sent by the vessel about 280 km. east of northern tip of the Philippines and nearest merchant vessels were diverted to toward the last known position. Two merchant vessels picked up survivors. One reached port of Xiamen, China with eleven seafarers and another port of Irene, Philippines with five seafarers. Ten seafarers are still not accounted for.

Two of the seafarers were injured and needed medical attention. All seafarers obviously were without any documents including passport in their possession. Our prime concern was getting them on shore and commencing treatment and documentation for all seafarers.

The Maritime Union of India (MUI) immediately began to initiate communication with the relevant departments and individuals in various government departments. Co-ordinating with the company, agents, SAR vessels, and other agencies was our prime work. MUI has also kept in touch and co-ordinated with family of two Officers.

Here, we must mention the important role played by Honourable Minister, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to assist us in this matter and ensure that Search and Rescue operation continues and to that effect, Indian Navy has dispatched a reconnaissance aircraft since ten Seafarers are still unaccounted for. Our efforts continue and co-ordination with the company continues from our side. The the honourable minister, Ministry of Exeternal Affairs has played an all important role and ensured that the Seafarers are put through minimum of hardship in China and Philippines, so that they do not have to suffer further due to lack of any identity documents and ensure their return to India at the earliest.

The Maritime Union of India will always strive to stand up for Seafarers during times of need such as these and otherwise. We assure the industry that MUI will use all resources possible during times of suffering .***