THOUSANDS OF GOANS WORK ABROAD, AND MANY OF THEM ARE SEAMEN, WHO WORK ON VARIOUS CRUISE SHIPS. ACCORDING TO SOURCES, THE SEAMEN HAS MOREOVER TOUGH LIFE COMPARED TO OTHERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES FACE SUCH ISSUES QUITE OFTEN. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE BY THE GOVERNMENT IN THIS REGARDS TILL DATE…   

According to the reports, 42-year-old Neville Fernades, a resident of Margao was found dead on a board of a cruise ship in Texas, USA. The incident supposes to have taken place in the month of July, and the same was informed by the spokesperson of a Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) Mr. Dixon Vaz to the media reporters on Wednesday.

The reason behind the death of a Margao based seaman is not yet known. But, according to the reports, the deceased Fernandes was supposed to return back home in two weeks time, but before that only this unforeseen incident took place, said the sources.

According to the sources, Fernandes was sailing on the ship which was at sea on the second day of its seven-day cruise from Galveston Texas en route to Cozumel Mexico, a popular Caribbean port. The sources revealed that Fernandes had only two more weeks left in his current employment contract to get over before he could return back home. The deceased Fernandes has been survived by his wife and a young son.

The seamen Association spokesperson Dixon Vaz has demanded from the government to set up a full fledged office for the seafarer cell equipped with communication, documents and shipping experts in order to assist the families who face similar situations. “Seafarers and their families deal with issues of being laid off from work, re-hiring, injuries, death at work, harassment from ship owners and lead very stressful lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the reports, the Goa NRI Commission is in constant touch with the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Maxico and the Consulate General of India in Houston Texas, USA over the repatriation of the mortal remains of Fernandes.      

“We usually contact the nearest Indian mission. It usually takes between 10-15 days for all the formalities to be complete and for a body to be repatriated if the death is by natural causes. In other cases, it can take up to a month,” OSD to commissioner NRI affairs, U D Kamat said. “We got in touch with the nearest Indian embassy in Mexico and they have intimated us that the company would bear the cost of repatriating Fernandes’ mortal remains. They are yet to inform us of the flight details,” he said.

SOURCE: TOI

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