Chaplain concerned for welfare of stranded Indian crew
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The Great Yarmouth port chaplain has raised fresh concerns for the crew of the Malaviya Twenty.
The offshore supply vessel has been moored in the town since June 2016 after becoming embroiled in a legal battle.
The previous crew spent more than six months aboard without pay and were replaced by a new crew of 14, who were tasked with returning the Indian-owned vessel to Mumbai.
However, as disputes between the port authority, the owners and liquidators rumble on, the crew have been denied permission to return the ship to the coastal city.
This crew, like the crew before, have also gone many months without payment. The vessel is now manned by a crew of only four, with the rest managing to fly home.
Speaking to Network Norwich and Norfolk, port chaplain, Reverend Peter Paine, described the situation as a “travesty of justice”.
He said: “Since the turn of the year the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of the crew has taken a dive.
“I have to say that after all this time my heart goes out to them in a big, big way. I think the whole thing is a travesty of justice really.”
In the past, Mr Paine has helped coordinate outings for the crew and brought Christmas gifts donated by the townspeople to help lift morale.
But Mr Paine thinks the crew’s resolve was knocked further when the ship was moved to the Outer Harbour during the Beast from the East.
Peel Ports said the vessel was moved for “operational and security reasons”, but Mr Paine said the experience could have traumatised the crew.
He said: “She was just like a cork in a bathtub. Six lines broke in that time. They couldn’t get their gangplank down to get it onto shore so no one could get on or get off.
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“If these boys go back to sea again they are going to be traumatised by the whole event.
“I don’t give two figs about the ship, I really don’t. I’m desperate to get the crew off, paid and repatriated home; they’ve suffered enough.”
A spokesman for Peel Ports said: “The situation regarding the Malaviya Twenty remains unchanged. The vessel remains in the Port of Great Yarmouth.”
The vessel had been at the centre of a court dispute in India.