Goa writes to Tokyo mission over Diamond Princess' Goan crew


Panaji, Feb 26 (IANS): Narendra Sawaikar, Commissioner for NRI (non-resident Indian) Affairs in Goa, here on Tuesday, wrote to the Indian diplomatic mission in Japan to convey the anxieties of parents of Goan origin sailors, currently stranded onboard cruise ship Diamond Princess.

The ship has been quarantined off the coast of Japan as a preventive measure against spread of coronavirus.

"There is considerable anxiety gripping the families of several Goan seafarers onboard the Diamond Princess, as I understand the vessel had reportedly sailed to China," Sawaikar said in his letter to the Indian Mission in Tokyo.

Speaking to IANS, Sawaikar said only diplomatic channels could be used to contact the sailors 'trapped' onboard the vessel. "Due to provisions of maritime law, we cannot contact them directly. We have to use diplomatic channels to approach our sailors," he said.

Sawaikar looks after the affairs of the sizeable Goan expatriate community. His office serves as a liaising agency between them and the state government.

"The families of Goan seafarers are extremely worried and anxious to know about their well-being," Sawaikar said in his communication.

Several Goan sailors are believed to be part of the 135-strong contingent of Indian crew onboard the Diamond Princess, a British-registered cruise ship, which is operated by Princess Cruises.

  

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