Angriya, the first Indian domestic cruise ship with 80 crew currently berthed at Mumbai port, will not be signing off the 8 Belagavi crew members for now. In a press release, its management has said that it is instead responding to the Government of India’s call to assist in the evacuation of Indians stuck overseas.
Managing director of Angriya Sea Eagle Ltd Captain Nitin Dhond said that it is a matter of great pride that Angriya has been chosen for this operation for evacuation of fellow Indians stuck overseas. He said he is gratified that the entire team has chosen to stay back on board and assist in this operation, in the true spirit of seamanship. This he said reflects the core values of being a true seafarer in the right traditions of Indian maritime history.
We have to deliver to the nation in this time of crisis, and the 8 crew from Belagavi are an integral and important part of our team,” said Capt Nitin Dhond, who himself is a resident of Belgaum “Repatriating them or bringing them back to Belgaum is not a priority for now. These are unprecedented times and the team members have proudly chosen to stay back and be ready to sail for this mission.” he added.
These team members from Belgaum include marine and hospitality crew and will play a significant role in the success of this mission he added.
“The process of sign off by Belagavi crew and subsequent return to Belagavi will now be completed after the overseas evacuation operations are finished,” said executive vice-chairman of Angriya Sea Eagle Ltd, Leena Kamat Prabhu, in the press release issued on Tuesday.
Teams on Angriya are now preparing for ‘sail on command’, while a second team is on standby on land and is also coordinating logistics and operational preparedness for the voyages, Prabhu said.
Angriya will assist in evacuations along the Indian coast, Arabian sea and Gulf countries. “It could be anybody — workers, stranded fishermen, seafarers. It could also be anyone stuck in ports of locations away from India,” Dhond said.
Angriya is poised to increase its capacity from 400 passengers to 1,000 for this evacuation. “All those being evacuated will be tested for Covid-19 before they board,” said Dhond. “There will be proper social distancing on the vessel, and the crew will use protective equipment. All precautions will be taken to protect the crew.”
The crew will also have to render logistical support — carrying food, medical equipment, paramedics and security — which the office is working on, Capt Dhond said. “We’ve been told to be ready. A second team of crew and support staff is also on stand by and could be called immediately too in case of need.
Known for being India’s first domestic Indian flag bearing cruise ship, dedicated to the memory of Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre, this exemplary act of dedication shown by Team Angriya is now being hailed from various quarters of the Indian maritime sector