Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the seafarers were leaving Japan today and will reach India on February 14

In a major win for New Delhi’s diplomatic efforts to bring back 16 stranded seafarers of MV Anastasia off Chinese coast, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday announced that the stranded seafarers on board MV Anastasia will be returning to India on 14 February.

Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Wednesday, “Great Start of the day! Our stranded seafarers of MV Anastasia are coming back to India! The crew will sign off from Japan today and will reach India on Sunday.”

Mandaviya confirmed that the 16 seafarers on board MV Anastasia would be soon united with their families.

The latest development follows the Ministry of External Affairs on February 4 said that after continuous follow up by the Indian embassy in Beijing, China has conveyed their clearance on the transfer of the crew of cargo ship MV Anastasia.

India had said that the Chinese side had conveyed that the shipping company can apply for crew rotation from a different port and that the local authorities would examine the feasibility of such a request.

MV Anastasia, an Indian ship with 16 seafarers, has been in anchorage near Caofeidian Port in China since September 20.

Earlier, 23 crew members on MV Jag Anand, another Indian ship stranded for 8 months at Chinese port of Jingtang, had finally reached Japan in January from where the crew flew back to India.