The Times of India has said that the Indian crew of ULCV Ever Given could remain stuck in India for a long time. The newspaper, seizing on other recent reports of crew members being detained in Egypt as the technical legal guardians of the ships concerned, said that it was possible that they might face house arrest.
The newspaper also somewhat stirred things up by citing an unnamed Indian shipping industry source, who said that “there is a clear danger that the crew will be made scapegoats”.
Although the Ever Given remains under investigation in the Great Bitter Lake, half way up the Suez Canal, there has been no indication that the 25 crew, who are in good health, are likely to be made scapegoats by the Egyptian authorities.
The head of Indian seafarers’ union NUSI, Abdulgani Serang, said that “they are not alone and we will support them whenever required in whatever manner required”.
The Egyptian government’s lead investigator, Captain Sayed Sheasha, said last week that the master of the Ever Given had been completely cooperative with the investigation.
Meanwhile, physical damage to the ever Given appeared to have been minimal. A dive inspection last week revealed a limited amount of damage to the bulbous bow, but no other obvious signs of harm.
The Times of India speculation appeared to be based on recent reports from the seafarers union ITF that at least two seafarers had ended up either detained on the vessel or in a hotel onshore for extended periods of time, while disputes between the local authorities and the remote shipowners played out.