The Indian crew of the Malaviya Seven offshore supply vessel have been stuck in the north-east ever since the boat was detained in June last year, when a routine inspection discovered the seafarers had not been paid.
And, after more than a year, the crew are still trapped in Aberdeen, unable to go home lest they forfeit the accumulated wages they are owed by the ship’s owners GOL Offshore.
The High Court in Bombay ordered an official liquidator be appointed to the company on May 5, and the equity shares of GOL offshore were suspended from trading from July 19.
The 12 men who are still living on the ship have been able to continue their battle and stay in Aberdeen thanks to the support of local volunteer groups and the Apostleship of the Sea.
However, many of the crew are sole breadwinners for their families, and back home in Mumbai, their wives, daughters and sons have been struggling to get by – with some being forced to take out expensive loans or sell heirloom jewellery just to make ends meet.
Last night, Ashish Prabhakar, one of the ship’s captains, said the news of GOL Offshore’s liquidation had sunk the hopes of his crew.
He said: “If the company was not going under, but the ship was still detained, maybe we would have had a speedier resolution to this.
“It has made the situation a lot more complicated and the company going under has created a lot more problems.
“It is under the appointed, official liquidator now. We have tried to make contact with them, but we have not been able to get in touch, which has been very frustrating.
“There has been no clarity from the company’s side either, we have been left in the dark.
“The uncertainty is the worst. We are away from home, we don’t know what to be paid and, on top of that, the company is in liquidation.
“We don’t know what the future is going to be.”
GOL Offshore’s liquidator and representatives for the company could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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