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Monday, December 18, 2017

Hebei Two's return to India

When the Hebei Two were finally released by Korea and arrived back in India, celebrations were held in Mumbai and Chennai in a massive display of support for Captain Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan. They had been held in Korea for 550 days after their legally-anchored VLCC was hit by a runaway Samsung crane barge off Korea.

 

For a picture of their return to India click here

 

From left to right:

Captain Jasprit Chawla and his wife, V. Ships President Roberto Giorgi, Chief Officer Syam Chetan with his son, wife and parents.

 

Roberto Giorgi, President of V.Ships, the Hebei Spirit’s manager, said that the welcome for these two men was an “incredible and emotional experience,” but added that there was still much to be done to clear them of all criminal charges. He went on to say that there was a pressing need to amend international law to prevent this kind of unacceptable criminalisation.

 

That these men were held against their will for so long, with some of that time spent in prison, is unjust and unacceptable. What is unique in this case is that support has come from a really broad coalition of the shipping industry – the Round Table of international shipping associations (BIMCO, INTERCARGO, ICS, ISF and INTERTANKO), The International Group of P&I Clubs (IG), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association, InterManager, the International Maritime Employers’ Committee (IMEC) as well as the ship manager V.Ships.

 

In addition, well over 100 principals, chief executives and managing directors of international ship owning companies signed a letter earlier this year pressing for fair treatment for these men. (See WN article INTERTANKO continues its fight for the Hebei Two (May 2009). Click here )

 

INTERTANKO continues to back all efforts to clear the names and reputations of these two men who followed, in an exemplary way, internationally-accepted procedures which are designed to ensure the safety of seafarer, ship and cargo – and for this they have been criminalised by Korea.

 

Further articles that we have published on the Hebei Spirit include:

 

INTERTANKO’s welcome at release of Hebei Two tinged with disappointment at failure to exonerate (June 2009)

Click here

 

INTERTANKO disappointment at Korean Court verdict on Hebei Spirit

(April 2009)

Click here

 

Hebei Spirit officers granted bail – industry rally postponed

(Jan 2009)

Click here

 

Contact: Bill Box