Ever Given crew fear joining ranks of seafarers stranded on ships for years

Ever Given crew fear joining ranks of seafarers stranded on ships for years

Suez vessel’s crew said to be ‘relaxed but apprehensive’, while 50 miles away a cautionary tale plays out on another ship

For two years Mohammad Aisha has been the lone resident of an abandoned container ship marooned off Egypt in the Gulf of Suez. If he needs to charge his phone, get drinking water or buy food, he has to row to shore, although he can only stay for two hours at most as the area is a restricted military zone. According to one doctor who examined him, the malnourished sailor has started to exhibit similar symptoms to prisoners held in poor conditions.

Aisha has been the custodian of the 4,000-tonne MV Aman, trapped onboard as a prolonged legal battle to sell the vessel and pay the crew plays out thousands of miles away. Less than 50 miles north, the crew of the Ever Given, now immersed in its own legal struggles, are hoping to avoid anything close to the same fate. On Sunday, representatives from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), an umbrella union that represents seafarers, boarded the ship to check on the crew’s wellbeing.

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