KAKINADA: Cargo ship M.T.QIAN TAI 1 is stranded at Kakinada Anchorage Port for more than 50 days. Ship captain Wang Zeyan, a Chinese national, has not been allowing the Indian crew into the ship. He along with other Chinese crew members are allegedly threatening the Indian crew, raising an axe when they made attempts to enter the ship.
The stand-off followed a change in the technical ownership of the vessel from Chinese company Seacon Ships Management to Singapore’s Oka Ship Management. It remained unresolved despite intervention of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Though the court categorically said the Indian crew should be allowed on to the ship, the state agencies did not implement the order, forcing the Singapore company to approach court once again seeking the “arrest of the vessel”.
If the court issued an order in favour of Oka, the Chinese crew will be made to “sign off” with the assistance of the local police and repatriated to their native country.
Inquiries revealed that the cargo ship entered the Kakinada anchorage port on July 8 for discharging crude palm oil of 4,000 tonnes.
After handling of the cargo, the ship was placed at the anchorage port on July 12. Following the signing of the new technical management contract with the shipping liner, the Singapore company engaged the captain, a cook and two other crew members, who all are Indians.
“Following all the Covid19 protocols, the crew tried to enter the ship but were denied entry by the Chinese captain and other crew members,” said a local agent who was hired by the Singapore firm.
There were already 21 crew members on board, of which seven are Chinese nationals.
“We don’t know the reason and if there are any contractual issues, the Chinese crew should deal with their company Seacon,” the agent said, adding that the stand-off had been causing a huge financial loss.
As the stand-off continued, the Chinese company complained to the Director General of Shipping that its crew were not supplied food and water at the anchorage port. “There is a dispute between two companies and the ship got stranded at the anchorage port,” AP Maritime Board Superintendent Engineer Raghava Rao told Deccan Chronicle.