Sixteen Indian sailors on board bulk cargo vessel MV Anastasia, who were stranded on Chinese waters for months are set to return home after authorities in Beijing agreed to India’s request to permit a crew change, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
“After sustained follow-up by our embassy in Beijing, the Chinese central authorities have conveyed their clearance to the local foreign office in Tangshan and port authorities for the transfer of the crew of MV Anastasia,” foreign ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during his weekly briefing, ANI reported.
MV Anastasia had anchored at the port of Caofeidian, in China’s Hebei province, on September 20, and was held up there since then as the Chinese authorities did not allow the ship to either dock or go for a crew change, citing coronavirus restrictions. Another vessel, MV Jag Anand, with 23 sailors on board, had anchored at the Jingtang port, also in Hebei, since June 13. However, Jag Anand was allowed a crew change last month, according to PTI.