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Three of stranded ship’s crew fly home for Christmas! 

MALAVIYA 12-2017A17th December 2017
Judith Edmonds reports
Photos: Colin Wooden

 
Yesterday afternoon, three of the seven crew from the Malaviya Twenty, which had been stuck in Great Yarmouth since June 2016, boarded a taxi on their first step home to India
 
Port Chaplain and pioneer of the Great Yarmouth Seafarers Centre, Rev Peter Paine, said “I put a deposit of £3,500 yesterday to the agents to get three crew members home. Today at 13.00 a taxi loaded with televisions and baggage plus three seafarers started on their journey to Heathrow for a flight home at 21.40”

MALAVIYA 12-2017B(photograph right shows the seafarers with Colin Wooden, one of the Centre's ships visitors)
(photograph left shows the seafarers with Port Chaplain, Rev Peter Paine)

"This means we have four crew on board. I have had an offer from Peter Jay for them to go to the Circus, so we will arrange for them to go in twos”
 
“I have put out an appeal for Christmas items for men so that we can take some Christmas cheer on board”
The vessel was moored on the quay after it was detained by the authorities because of invalid documents and the failure to pay crew wages
 
MALAVIYA 12-2017CYarmouth Mercury reporter, George Ryan, reports that the marooned captain, Nikesh Rastogr, who has been living and working aboard the vessel since February, said that since July neither him nor his crew had received any wages.  Mr Rastogr also said three of the crew, who arrived in September and are contracted until March, had not been paid at all
 
Regional ITF inspector Paul Keenan said the three crew who flew home were under pressure from their families to leave
 
MALAVIYA 12-2017DHe added that Great Yarmouth Port is also owed £80,000 in unpaid port duties. If the amount is not paid in 14 days then it will triple to £320,000
 
The vessel is currently at the centre of a court dispute in India, between the ICICI Bank which owns the ship and a liquidator, over who receives the proceeds of a potential sale

Mr Keenan added “I could not believe it when I got the call. It is a disgrace that both the liquidators and the bank have put the legal row ahead of the welfare of the crews”