Indian crew of stranded ship in Singapore demands wages

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Singapore, Mar 21 (UNI) A crew of 22 Indian sailors are stranded on board their ship in Singapore waters claiming 109,550 dollar in three months of wages while the iron ore carrier is undergoing repair since January this year.

The North Korea-registered Lady Belinda, which sailed out of India with a iron ore cargo of 16,300 tonnes last December for China, has been also declared not seaworthy by the Singapore authority, Straits Times reported today.

The Greek-owned ship was brought for engine repair into Singapore on 14 January. The crew has since been fighting for wages, which averages 550 dollar per month for seaman and 1,800-4,500 dollar per month for officer.

Meanwhile, the ship engineer, Sheikh Yakub, 28, said he had to postponed his 28 February 2008 wedding and had wasted 2,000 dollar on preparation for being stranded in Singapore.

Other sailors complained that they have not been able to visit their family members in India due to the stranded ship. The crew have sought legal advise to have the ship arrested if the owners failed to settle their wages.

India's Centre for Seafarers Welfare had detained the same ship last January when it failed to pay wages of its 20 crew members from Myanmar and Egypt, according to media reports here.

UNI XC SZ PM0914

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