Stranded at Sea : Sea Marshals appeal for help from Sri Lankan Government

Stranded at Sea : Sea Marshals appeal for help from Sri Lankan Government

Stranded at Sea : Sea Marshals appeal for help from Sri Lankan Government

Written by Zulfick Farzan

04 Jun, 2020 | 7:04 pm

Colombo (News 1st); 64 Sri Lankan Sea Marshals are trapped aboard a ship anchored in the Arabian Sea as a result of the global COVID-19 Pandemic.

They urge the President and the Government of Sri Lanka to secure their repatriation as living conditions aboard the vessel are deteriorating.

The group is confined to a vessel known as GREY PALM bearing the International Maritime Organization (IMO) number 7115567 which can only accommodate 40 to 50 people at any given time.

However, in a letter to the President dated the 02nd of June, the Sri Lankans claim they are forced to share accommodation with another 25 Indians, 40 Nepalese, 10 Chinese, and 25 Europeans who are also facing the same situation.

There are 180 people currently aboard the GREY PALM including the ship’s crew.

The Sri Lankans claim a Spanish Group which owns the vessel is engaged in human smuggling operations and is violating all norms and regulations mandated by the International Maritime Organization.

The Sea Marshals claim they were not paid for several months and the Sri Lankan agent is avoiding them.

In addition, the food provided to them is unsuitable for consumption and they are often compelled to eat food containing bugs and insects.

The Sri Lankan Sea Marshals note, due to the high number of personnel aboard the vessel, many are forced to sleep on the cold corridors like animals adding the conditions aboard the ship are not suitable for the survival of any person.

Further, the vessel has only two washrooms and there is a great risk of various diseases spreading among the men while several have already fallen ill due to an unknown fever.

The group adds the limited number of life jackets are not in a usable state and stressed if the vessel faces a disaster, it is impossible to seek any assistance from the Sri Lanka Navy or any vessel passing by.

A majority of the Sri Lankans aboard the GREY PALM are retired personnel from the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka.

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