In Focus

No Ramadan for Muslims aboard stranded ship Iron Monger 3

Muslims rue not being able to observe Ramadan fasts due to pitiable condition on marooned ship

  • By Abhishek Sengupta, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 22:09 July 10, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: supplied photo
  • Stranded: Eleven crew members are facing a living hell aboard Iron Monger 3 after the company abandoned the ship

Dubai: Eleven crewmen marooned aboard a ship without fuel off Khor Fakkan in Sharjah are making a final plea for their lives to be saved.

Three Muslim members also rue the fact they can’t observe the fast during Ramadan because of their helpless situation. “We have been in total blackout for the last three days and were told there would be refuelling on Tuesday night, but that didn’t happen. We have been cooking only once and sleeping on the deck.

“I wish I could observe the Ramadan fast but it is impossible as we have next to no food and water left,” says Ali K, a boatswain aboard the doomed Iron Monger 3 that has been anchored 8 nautical miles off Khor Fakkan for months.

“Four crewmen have already left the ship in desperate circumstances on a boat. One of them was vomiting blood and close to death.

“We are the ones left behind, virtually without anything,” said Smigin Subramanian, the ship’s third engineer, who like the rest of the crew hasn’t been paid since he was contracted by the shipping company almost seven months ago.

bad to worse

More than three weeks since XPRESS first exposed the appalling situation of the seamen abandoned by NOS Ship Management, the Singaporean company that owns the vessel, things have gone from bad to worse.

“Last month when a similar blackout happened, we got temporary provisions for about 20 days after having written to the Indian government officials. Our company had apparently even promised the Indian Consulate in Dubai that we would be released by June 30 but clearly that hasn’t happened,” says Subramaniam, who was hired on a monthly salary of $4,500 (Dh16,528) and is due to get married in August.

“Plus we are hearing rumours everyday about the company being bankrupt,” said another member of the suffering lot.

A representative of Sea Master, local agent of NOS Ship Management, said on condition of anonymity that they stopped rendering all services to the company because of non-payment. The person also indicated that refuelling could have possibly not taken place for the same reason.

When XPRESS contacted the Indian Consulate, they said they didn’t have any further update. All efforts to reach NOS owners in Singapore have so far yielded no result.

Comments (3)

Your comments
  1. Added 11:41 July 11, 2013

    why cant the UAE help them to atleast come out of that hell and give temporary accomodation and medical assistance while the India High Commisionn here can try to send them back to India or to their respective countries. Each one of us here in Dubai are enjoying life and see how these people are suffering due to a ruthless behaviour of some irresposible company they were hired by. UAE govt please help them and atleast give them shelter and medical assistance in this holy month of Ramadan

    ANNONYMUS, SHARJAH, India

  2. Added 11:02 July 11, 2013

    I hope authorities will open their eyes and understand the pathetic situations of these sea mens.

    Anil.PK, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:33 July 11, 2013

    Can we do something to help these people. It's really pity they are suffering so much, Indian Consulate or other competent authorities should do somehting on urgent basis to help them. Is there any way where we the readers can do something to help them. please advise.

    Amin Alvi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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