The crew never smiles for the group after the mega container ship wreaked havoc on world trade by blocking the Suez Canal
The crew of the container ship Ever Given smiles in their first photo since the ship nearly brought world trade to its knees by blocking the Suez Canal.
The 25 Indian sailors have been aboard the 1,312-foot megaship for two months and have no immediate prospect of returning home after Egypt demanded $ 1 billion in compensation.
Trade was halted after Ever Given – which has nearly 20,000 containers on board – crossed the Suez Canal last month.
He blocked the vital trade waterway for six days before it was straightened out with the help of diggers and a flotilla of tugs.
The canal is a vital passageway for ships coming from Asia and heading to Europe and avoids the long voyage around Africa.
Experts say the lockdown cost global trade £ 7 billion a day as more than 400 ships were stranded in the massive operation to free it.
Egypt claims to have lost $ 15 million in transit fees for each of them and refuses to let Ever Given continue its journey.
She is currently anchored on the Great Bitter Lake halfway along the Suez Canal after being seized by Egypt last week in a court ruling.
Our exclusive photo shows Egyptian representatives of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) on board as the compensation line is battered.
The crew are pictured smiling for the camera, but secretly union officials in their home country India fear they will be held hostage for weeks until compensation is paid by the shipowners.
No identity has been revealed. The only person wearing merchant navy epaulettes is on the far left with a badge identifying him as a fourth engineer.
Two crew members have been cleared to leave Ever Given and are being replaced while a second captain (captain) has left India to join the ship.
She should have reached her destination in Hamburg earlier this month after stopping in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Today Abdulgani Serang of the National Seafarers Union of India told The Sun: “The visit was first and foremost a wellness visit – we wanted to make sure all the crew were safe and sound. and did not suffer.
“It was important to show solidarity with our compatriots and seafarers, they should not be held to ransom and should be allowed to leave the ship.
“We want to make sure that they are not victims of any injustice.
“I have personally spoken to the captain (captain) twice and he has assured me that everyone on board is fine.
“Two sailors were allowed to leave for personal family reasons at their home in India.
ITF representatives spent several hours on board and conveyed our good wishes and solidarity to the crew.
“The message from us is that they are not alone and that they have our support and the support of everyone locally, nationally and internationally.
“The captain and the crew on board said there was no problem with wages, food or provisions. They fully understand the situation.
“The crew are looking forward to getting back to navigation in the near future. The ITF team have also delivered internet devices to the entire crew.”
$ 1 billion COMPO BATTLE
The ship’s insurer for third-party losses, the UK P&I Club, said in a statement it had received a claim for $ 916 million, the size of which is “largely unsupported”.
He said he was disappointed the ship was seized last week.
The UK P&I Club said the claim included a rescue bonus of $ 300 million and an additional $ 300 million for loss of reputation, but not the professional rescuer’s claim for his services.
He said a generous offer had been made to settle the claim and negotiations would continue.
He added: “When the grounding occurred, the vessel was fully operational with no defects in machinery and / or equipment and was fully managed by a competent and professional captain and crew.
“The navigation was conducted under the supervision of two pilots from the Suez Canal Authority, in accordance with the Suez Canal navigation rules.
“The UK Club is working with all parties involved. Our priority is the fair and speedy resolution of this claim to ensure the release of the vessel and cargo and, most importantly, its crew of 25 who remain on board.”
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The Sun can also reveal that three weeks ago in the High Court in London, the owners also filed a $ 114 million limited liability action against owners of containers on the Ever Given that allegedly contained spare parts. for airplanes. washing machines and other electrical appliances.
Japanese company Shoei Kisen Kaisha, which owns the Panamanian-flagged Ever Given, or Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine Corp, which mapped the vessel, is expected to be liable for compensation.
The ship was said to have been in trouble initially after high winds and a sandstorm, but Egyptian officials said they had not yet ruled out human or mechanical error.