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Stranded at Sea: The MV Dali Crew Faces Uncertainty After Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Baltimore Blames Shipping Companies for Bridge Collapse Disaster

Stranded at Sea: The MV Dali Crew Faces Uncertainty After Baltimore Bridge Collapse

The 21 crew members of the MV Dali cargo ship have been stuck on board for 55 days, enduring a difficult ordeal following the vessel’s collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. The tragic incident on March 26th resulted in the complete collapse of the bridge and the loss of six construction workers’ lives.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the crew scrambled to find survivors. However, their situation quickly took a turn for the worse when FBI agents confiscated their phones. They then faced the unnerving experience of controlled explosions aimed at removing large pieces of the bridge debris lodged in the ship’s bow.

Gwee Guo Duan, an assistant general secretary with the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU), spoke to CNN about the plight of the crew. He emphasized the emotional toll the incident has taken on them, particularly the awareness of the loss of life. The SMOU is legally authorized to represent the crew members, as the MV Dali sails under the Singapore flag.

Duan further explained how the crew has to stay onboard due to US maritime regulations. These regulations mandate a minimum number of crew members to be present at all times to operate the ship’s machinery and respond to emergencies.

Adding to their woes, the crew’s US visas, necessary for them to leave the vessel, have expired.

Synergy Marine, the owner of the MV Dali, maintains that the crew is well-supplied and actively engaged in maintenance and other shipboard duties. They also claim that the crew has access to mental health services.

However, the SMOU disputes this portrayal, highlighting the crew’s distress due to “unfounded” fears of being held accountable for the accident.

Reverend Messick, the port chaplain and Executive Director for Baltimore’s International Seafarers’ Centre, expressed concern about the FBI confiscating the crew’s phones in April 2024. He pointed out that while the crew has been issued temporary phones, they cannot access their personal data or SIM cards from the original phones. This disconnection adds another layer of stress to their situation.

The future remains unclear for the MV Dali crew. The bridge removal process is ongoing, and investigations into the cause of the accident continue. With their visas expired and facing the emotional weight of the disaster, these seafarers yearn for a resolution and the opportunity to return home to their families.

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