Dubai: Eight Indian sailors stranded on a ship off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the past nine months have send out an SOS as some of them have fallen sick, a media report said on Sunday.
The sailors have been stranded without full wages aboard the MV Hoot, moored off the coast of Khor Fakkan since June 2019, Gulf News said in the report.
In recent days, two of them have reportedly developed a cold and fever while a third has contracted skin infection.
With no access to healthcare or medicines, the remaining crew members fear that it was only a matter of time when they will also fall sick.
"Our condition is deteriorating day by day. We are exhausted both mentally and physically. I don't know how long we could hold on like this," Suresh Kumar, the ship's chief officer, told Gulf News on Saturday over the phone.
He also claimed that the shipping company owed him several months of wages.
Jaspal Singh, 32, who handles engine maintenance, said: "Two of us are running fever and our cook has developed blisters all over his body.
"We have to ration drinking water as we have no access to fresh water. Many of us haven't taken a proper bath in months, We use sea water to bathe."
The sailors said they have written to various authorities including the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi but to no avail.
The offshore supply vessel left Hamariyah Port in Sharjah on June 1, 2019 but had barely reached Khor Fakkan when it ran into trouble with coast guards for refueling in mid-sea without permission.
"It wasn't our fault. The ship owner sends us a boat carrying diesel. We were just following orders," Kumar told Gulf news.
Since June 6, 2019, the ship has been anchored in the same position.
The matter is now in Fujairah Court.
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