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September 30, 2023

Merchant Vessel Captain Nandeshwar returns home after 16 months; Released from Mauritius jail over oil spill

By Priti Naik

Merchant vessel captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar returned to India following his release from Mauritius. The Captain was arrested and jailed for 16 months in Mauritius after his ship was stranded in July 2020 and triggered an oil spill off its coast. The Maritime Union of India (MUI) played a vital role in releasing Nandeshwar after he was arrested by the local police and sentenced in the Intermediate Court of Mauritius.

Expressing his gratitude towards MUI, Merchant vessel captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar said that he is thankful to the Maritime Union for their support and help in securing his release from the Mauritius jail. He specially thanked MUI general secretary Amar Singh Thakur, who consistently pursued his release from the jail through a series of negotiations and representations with the local maritime union of Mauritius, High Commission of India in Port Louis, Shipping Ministry of India and External Affairs Ministry of India.

MUI general secretary Mr Thakur said, “The MUI remains committed to provide help, support and legal assistance to all members of the union and Indian seafarers in any part of the world during crisis-like situation and distress.”

The Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which was under the command of Captain Nandeshwar was en-route to Brazil from China. The carrier turned off its course in the evening on July 25, 2020 and hit a coral reef. It was after two weeks that the fuel oil started leaking with about 1,000 tonnes of oil reaching the shore. The vessel then broke into two and sank. The island country battled a widespread pollution after the oil spill from MV Wakashio, threatening the livelihood of local communities that solely depends on the ocean and tourism.

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