All members of the crew on board the containership Ever Given, which is wedged diagonally in the Suez Canal in Egypt since March 23, are Indians, the maritime solutions provider in charge of technical management of the vessel said.

Bernhard Schulte Ship management (BSM) said that all 25 crew are safe and are in a good health and spirits. It said that all crew are Indian nationals and are onboard the ship.

The management is working closely with all parties involved to re-float the vessel. It appreciated the crew for the hard work and tireless professionalism.

Abhijeet Sangle, working president of the All India Seafarers and General Workers Union, said they had received information from BSM that the 25 Indians on board are from different states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and some from North India.

The mammoth 400 m-long, 2 lakh-tonne vessel owned by Shoei Kisen of Japan and operated by the Taiwanese firm Evergreen Marine, ran aground reportedly due to strong winds and a sandstorm. Efforts to dislodge and refloat the ship had not been successful until yesterday.

The containership, one of the world’s largest, has almost entirely blocked the narrow channel, a crucial passage for maritime trade between Asia and Europe and one of the world’s busiest trade routes. Some 300 ships with an estimated 10 billion dollars worth of goods remain stranded on both sides of the blockage.

Director-General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar said since the crew on board the ship are safe, the intervention of the Directorate General of Shipping has not been sought. He informed that the impact of the incident will mostly be on trade.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Director General of Shipping have advised Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mundra and Hazira ports to prepare a strategy to berth multiple vessels simultaneously once traffic resumes at the Suez Canal.

Coastal shipping operators have been asked to keep feeder vessels ready to carry containers around the Indian coast if needed. 

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