MARGAO: The Goa Maritime Officers Association (GMOA), a collective organisation representing the interests of maritime professionals in Goa, submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday, asking the State and Central government to help the family of a Goan marine engineer from Chicalim and other Indian nationals who are stuck onboard a ship that was detained by the Iranian Navy in April.
“We have been informed that the vessel ‘Advantage Sweet’, which is managed by M/s Northern Marine Management (INDIA) Pvt Ltd, was detained by the Iranian Navy on April 26. This situation has raised significant concerns, particularly because the vessel has Indian officers and crew on board, including a Third Engineer hailing from Goa,” GMOA Secretary, Chief Engineer Larson D’Sa said.
“The family of the Third engineer Govind Suresh Naik, from Chicalim has reached out to the Association, seeking assistance and information regarding the status of the vessel and its crew,” D’Sa said.
“His joining date was January 8, 2023 and he completed his tenure on board,” D’Sa added.
Given the gravity of this situation and the anxiety it is causing to the families of the crew members, GMOA asked for necessary information. This included latest updates about the condition of the Indian mariners and the expected release date.
“We urgently need the most recent information regarding the status of MV Advantage Sweet, including the circumstances of its detention and any communication with the relevant authorities. It is essential that we have accurate and up-to-date information to relay to the concerned families,” said D’Sa.
“If possible, please provide an estimate of when the vessel is expected to be released. This information will be of great importance to the families and will help us manage their expectations,” he added.
GMOA also stated that in case there are any specific actions or assistance required from them to facilitate the release of the vessel or support the crew members, to let them know immediately. GMOA added that they are prepared to collaborate with relevant authorities and organizations to ensure the safe return of the crew.
“Our Marine officers are under tremendous stress when under captivity without any fault. They were on an innocent passage and should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds and as a moral obligation of all - the owners, charterers and governments of countries involved,” said D’Sa.
Hoping that there is prompt attention given to this issue, GMOA added that they are ready to engage in constructive dialogue to address this matter effectively.
GMOA members emphasized that it has been a long wait for the family who are extremely worried and are hopeful that this matter is taken up at the highest level like the Union Ministry of External Affairs.