MV Wakashio’s captain, who was imprisoned in Mauritius for 16 months, after the ship ran aground causing an oil spill, has returned to India after his release.
he Captain thanked the Maritime Union of India (MUI) for its support in securing his release from jail. He also added that he was able to come home because of efforts of Amar Singh Thakur, MUI’s general secretary.
Mr. Thakur tried to release the Captain through a series of negotiations with the maritime union of Mauritius, India’s Shipping Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, and the High Commission of India in Port Louis.
MV Wakashio was under Captain Nandeshwar’s command when it set sail from China to Brazil. However, it got off its course on 25 July 2020, hitting a coral reef.
Two weeks after the accident, oil leaked with about 1,000 tonnes reaching the shores. Afterwards, the vessel broke into two and eventually sank.
Recently, in Mauritius a court sentenced the captain and first mate of the MW Wakashio, whose grounding in 2020 caused the worst oil spill on the coast of Mauritius, to 20 months in prison.
Namely, the judge added that both defendants pleaded guilty and apologised. Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar admitted he had been drinking alcohol as cargo ship Wakashio ran aground in July 2020, spilling more than 1,000 tons of fuel into the Indian Ocean. He and the Japanese-owned bulk carrier’s first officer — Hitihanillage Subhoda Janendra Tilakaratna — were found guilty of “endangering safe navigation.”