45 Indian seafarers rescued from Ukraine
While 23 seafarers are back in India, remaining seafarers are safe in Romania and will be brought back soon
The joint efforts of Fleet Management Limited, a third-party ship management company headquartered in Hong Kong, and Elegant Marine Services, a manning agency, led to 45 Indian seafarers being rescued from Ukraine.
The seafarers had arrived in the port of Mykolaiv aboard two vessels for a cargo operation in late-February. As the military operations escalated on account of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the cargo operation was aborted by the Ukrainian officials and the entire crew got held up.
With 45 Indian seafarers facing food and provisions crisis and imminent danger of being in a war-torn territory, officials of Elegant Marine Services got in touch with the defence attaché and the Indian embassy in Ukraine.
Both the attaché and embassy responded swiftly, and came up with an evacuation plan. A bus was arranged to pick up all crew members and allow their passage through exit gates with proper approval of port authorities. The bus was escorted by a security party to the Moldova border.
The embassy in Moldova further facilitated entry procedures and transported all the crew members safely to Romania. With the Indian tricolour clearly visible on the bus windshield, the crew members made it safely to Romania.
"We are deeply concerned with the situation in Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the conflict," says Kishore Rajvanshy, Managing Director, Fleet Management Limited. "Despite this very frightening circumstance, the crew displayed an enormous amount of courage and bravery, and we are very relieved that both ship's crews have been safely evacuated out of Ukraine with one part of the crew already home in India and the other part in neutral territory and preparing for the final leg of the journey back home. The safety and well-being of our seafarers is always our top priority, and we will be with them every step of the way until they are reunited with their families and loved ones. This incredible feat would not have been possible without the tremendous leadership of the Indian embassy in Ukraine who spearheaded the evacuation."
On reaching Romania, 23 crew members boarded an Indian Air Force aircraft which landed in India in the early hours of March 10. The remaining 22 crew members have already reached neutral territory in Romania and will be brought back to India over the next few days.
Fleet Management Limited is a subsidiary of The Caravel Group Limited, and has 27 offices in 12 countries.