Crew Trapped on Dali Ship Seven Weeks After Bridge Collapse

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

Despite the deafening sound of a controlled explosion, a group of around twenty sailors found themselves stuck inside the hull of the enormous container ship, unable to escape.

The explosion, aimed at destroying a section of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, represented a sombre moment in the ongoing challenges faced by the crew following the bridge’s collapse seven weeks ago.

The Dali, an immense container ship measuring 948 feet in length, was on its way from Baltimore to Sri Lanka when it encountered a collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

This unfortunate incident has resulted in the ship becoming trapped beneath a chaotic entanglement of steel and concrete. According to a preliminary investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the incident was preceded by electrical blackouts, which resulted in critical equipment failures on board.

In the midst of the escalating turmoil, the crew, consisting of 20 Indians and a Sri Lankan national, has faced the unfortunate situation of being unable to leave the ship due to visa restrictions and ongoing investigations. Trapped on the ship, they have been left feeling alone and disconnected from their loved ones, intensifying their feelings of distress.

Efforts to address their situation have faced obstacles, such as the authorities seizing their mobile phones for investigation purposes. The sailors are now unable to communicate, which has left them without a way to handle personal matters or stay in touch with their loved ones.

Concerns have been raised by organisations like the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Centre and the Seafarers International Union regarding the well-being of the crew.

These organisations are urging authorities to prioritise the rights and welfare of these individuals. In the face of increasing pressure, the crew has been provided with temporary mobile phones and care packages by different community groups.

As authorities work through the intricate details of the situation, plans for the crew’s eventual return to their home countries are still uncertain. Although there have been some efforts to alleviate the situation, like providing SIM cards and temporary phones, the extended confinement of the crew highlights the urgency for a quick resolution.

Efforts are currently being made to provide emotional support and reduce their feelings of isolation. Efforts are being made to create opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment, such as arranging recreational activities and supervised shore visits, in order to offer a break from the current difficulties.

In the face of unknown challenges, there is a shared commitment to safeguard the crew’s welfare and eventual reunion with their loved ones. As the crew awaits their fate, their unwavering strength and determination stand as a powerful reminder of the indomitable spirit that resides within us all, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

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