Families of Indian sailors feared dead to be compensated

March 5th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, March 5 (IANS) The families of 22 sailors, including 15 Indians, feared to have died when a ship sank off the Yemeni island of Socotra last year, will be paid compensation, the company that operated the ship has said. “The amount will vary as per individual cases and also on the designations of the crew members,” Captain Khalidoon Kalla, owner of the Dubai-based KK Marine Consultancy, told the Khaleej Times.

“Claim for each crew member’s family will also be decided according to his experience and seniority. The compensation for a sailor could be around $25,000.”

The vessel had set sail from Ajman in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Somalia in June last year with 4,500 tonnes of cargo but was forced to drop anchor at Fujairah when cyclone Gonu hit the Oman coast. It resumed its journey two days later but went missing thereafter.

The last contact with the ship was June 16 when the captain called up his office to say that rough weather was making it difficult to navigate the vessel.

The manager of the company that recruited the crew told the newspaper that port authorities in Yemen and Djibouti have confirmed that the ship had sunk.

“Initially, we thought the ship might have been hijacked by pirates. But once the ship’s debris was recovered, we lost all hope,” Shaikh Shakeel, manager of DJ Shipping in Yemenm, was quoted as saying.

Kalla said a compensation claim has been filed for the sailors’ families with the Protection and Indemnity Insurance Company in Britain.

Apart from the 15 Indians, there were five Pakistanis, the Iraqi captain and a representative of KK Marine Consultancy on board the Panama-flagged vessel.

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