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Maritime body MUI offers legal assistance to MV Wakashio’s Captain

·2-min read

New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Maritime body MUI on Thursday said it has offered legal assistance to Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, the captain of Japanese oil tanker MV Wakashio that ran aground off the Mauritius coast in July.

Post Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio running aground on a coral reef near the eastern coast of Mauritius on July 25, the ship's captain has been charged with 'endangering safe navigation' and is in custody of legal authorities in Mauritius.

“Our Mumbai-based legal team is in constant touch with the lawyers in Mauritius. We have offered our legal assistance in getting a bail order for Capt Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar whose next hearing in the local Court of Mauritius is scheduled on September 22, 2020,” MUI General Secretary Amar Singh Thakur said in a statement.

On July 25, 2020 MV Wakashio bulk carrier operated by Japanese ship-owner Mitsui OSK Lines ran aground near Mauritius and spilled more than 1,000 tonne of its cargo of 4,000 tonne of fuel into the turquoise waters of the Mahebourg Lagoon, one of Mauritius Island’s most pristine coastal areas, merchant navy officers' union Maritime Union of India (MUI) said.

Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar was eventually taken into police custody on August 18, 2020 for endangering safe navigation as Mauritian authorities said that the ship failed to respond to several calls from the Mauritian Coast Guard, MUI said.

It said that on its intervention, Nandeshwar was recently allowed to speak over phone to his wife Namrata Nandeshwar and kids.

The body said that recently United Nations agencies and programmes involved in the maritime sector, human rights, trade, travel and transportation had called on all United Nations Member States, through a joint statement, to take urgent action to resolve the humanitarian crew change crisis faced by the world's seafarers.

'We sincerely urge The Supreme Court of Mauritius to take cognizance of the genuine concerns raised by ILO recently in the interest of seafarers and release Capt Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar on bail at the earliest possible,” MUI said.

It added that it has approached the relevant authorities in Mauritius, seeking a fair inquiry in the judicial trial related to the arrest of Nandeshwar. PTI NAM MR