The two largest Indian Unions today issued a statement showing growing support for a unified protest against the “Appeal” judgement which sent the Master and C/O of the Hebei Spirit to a Korean jail.
this is the state of the deck of the Hebei Spirit, awash with oil, shortly after the Samsung No 1 crane barge repeatedly smashed into the port side of the VLCC, breaching 3 tanks and causing structural damage to the deck of the tank.
In an historic meeting today the Unions and ship owners Associations got together in an unique display of solidarity against the judgement of the South Korean Court which found Capt. Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan guilty. Both the seafarers were on board the ship "Hebei Spirit" which was at safe anchorage at South Korean waters, which was collided by a tug-towed crane barge owned by Samsung Heavy Industries resulting in an oil spill.
Capt. Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan were detained since December, 2007 in South Korea. Despite being proved innocent on 23rd June, 2008 by the Court. The matter went into appeal. Justice was denied when the judgement, which was delivered on December 10th 2008, found Capt. Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan guilty and sentenced them for 18 months and 8 months respectively.
The Maritime Union of India