Accra, Ghana: Four Ghanian sailors who were stranded on an isolated cargo ship near Mumbai have finally been rescued and have returned home.
With little food, no medicines and proper electricity, these sailors had to struggle with five years of enforced captivity.
Identified as Mustapha Mohammad, Issah Sawudu, Iddriss Mohammad and Abakah Francis, the sailors flew home on Wednesday night.
To add to the misery, these sailors were not paid their salaries during the period in which they were stranded in Mumbai, an official said.
The incident came to light when their boat got grounded on Juhu Beach in Mumbai, following which their boat was seized by the Coast Guard and they were arrested. Few months later, police officials closed the probe and the men were forgotten, stranded in a place they knew nothing about.
“Our owner kept promising that he would pay us and repatriate us, but he did nothing. Our agent in Ghana also forgot about us,” Mustapha was quoted as saying.
As days passed, the sailors fell short of daily supplies, including food and water. However, local fishermen would at times drop off some food and water for them.
Few months later, the sailors somehow managed to contact the National Union of Seafarers of India and file a case in the Bombay High Court. The case got stretched for 12 long months and finally on Monday the court issued a directive stating that the sailors be allowed to return home.