With India Locked Down, 23 Seamen Stranded in Spanish Hotel
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Around 23 Indian seamen, who are crew members of a ship owned by Pullmantur Cruises, are stranded at a hotel in Spain’s Barcelona. They reached out to The Quint’s My Report with a video appeal to be evacuated and brought back to India. One of the crew members spoke to us on the condition of anonymity.
We had to travel 12 hours, all the way from Malaga, where the ship has been docked, to Barcelona. Spain is a high-risk COVID-19 country. Because of these dangers, the company decided to have minimum manpower at the ship. Upon disembarking, we had no food or supplies either. We fought to be accommodated and somehow managed to get a hotel from the company on 21 March. We were then told to take a bus to Barcelona.
Additionally, we weren’t given any new masks or sanitisers after disembarking. There is only one mask per person that each one has been using for four days now.
Moreover, a 21-day lockdown was announced by PM Modi, so even home seems far away at the moment. Flights have also been suspended from 22 to 29 March. We even showed the government circular to the HR department and told them that our flights home have been cancelled. They didn’t bother to help us.
The Embassy of India in Spain knows our status, but we cannot rely on anyone here completely, given the conditions.
But now, what next? Who will take responsibility for us at the hotel? If anything happens to one of us, what will we say to each other’s families? Or even to our own families.
So on behalf of all my friends, we request the Government of India to help us and save us like they did the students in Italy. We need to go back home.
Indian Embassy’s Response to The Quint
The Embassy of India in Madrid has told The Quint that it is in constant communication with the seamen. The Embassy‘s response is produced here:
“The Embassy of India in Madrid is in constant touch with the group as well as their employers Pullmantur Cruceros. On 23 March, Mr Diego Recacha, Senior Manager, Legal & Compliance Wing of Pullmantur Cruceros has confirmed the accommodation of all 23 crew members in Hotel Continental, Barcelona until 2 April. All their meals will be taken care of by the employer. Pullmantur Cruceros has tentatively booked their return flights to India on 2 April from Barcelona to Delhi.
Embassy appreciates the efforts of Pullmantur Cruceros who have made all necessary arrangements for the well-being of its employees. We request the group members in Barcelona, their families and friends back home to stay calm and positive. Embassy will maintain regular contact with the group and Pullmantur Cruceros. For further concerns, please reach out to us.”
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