Crew Of Ever Given Could Face Arrest As Authorities Begin Investigation Into Suez Canal Crisis
With the Suez Canal opened up again, the Ever Given’s crew is facing scrutiny over how the ship became stuck in the first place.
However, while a relief, investigations have already kicked off into where the responsibility lies for the cargo ship’s blockage. People within the Indian government and other shipping organisations are concerned the crew could become ‘scapegoats’ for the incident.
A senior source associated with the shipping industry told The Times of India: ‘There is a clear danger that the crew will be made scapegoats.’
With experts from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) boarding the Ever Given earlier this week to begin its initial probing, it’s feared the 25-man Indian crew could even be placed under house arrest or restrained from travelling until the investigation is completed.
Captain Sanjay Prashar, who’s a member of the National Shipping Board, told the outlet: ‘Firstly, it has to be ascertained as to how the giant ship ran aground. Facts can be checked by examining and listening to conversations in the ship voyage data recorder; one can then come to an understanding as to what caused the mishap.’
The identities of the crew have not been revealed. Berhard Schulte Ship Management earlier said: ‘All the 25 crew members are safe and accounted for and they remain in good health. They are working closely with all parties involved to refloat the vessel. The hard work and tireless professionalism of the master and crew are greatly appreciated.’
The Suez Canal is responsible for offering passage to 12% of global trade, making up around one million barrels of oil and 8% of liquefied natural gas.
There’s been a few estimates since the ship became stuck. Lloyd’s List Intelligence said the Ever Given was costing the global economy $400 million for each hour it was lodged in the canal, with daily westbound traffic valued at $5.1 billion and eastbound traffic valued at $4.5 billion.
Osama Rabie, chairman of the SCA, earlier said the revenues from the canal were losing more than $14 million every day the ship was stuck.
Abdulgani Serang, the general secretary for the National Union of Seafarers of India, also tweeted: ‘NUSI has promised solidarity support to all our Indian seafarers on board [Ever Given] stuck in the Suez Canal. I got in touch with them. The seafarers are fine but stressed out. They are not alone and we will support them whenever required in whatever manner required.’
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