CHENNAI: It has been five days, but Sahayaraj and Sagayam are still in a state of shock and yet, hopeful. Their son Sebastian Britto Breezlin Sahayaraj is one among six Indian crew who have gone missing in the Kerch Strait, after two fuel ships carrying Indian and Turkish crew members caught fire five days ago. Six Indian sailors have died in the incident.
Crosslin, a relative of Britto, says the mother is in a state of shock and has stopped taking food. The father, a fisherman, is also struggling to come to terms with the development. The couple live at Puthenthurai village in Kanyakumari. Britto’s younger brother died of cancer at a young age.
“Since then, the parents have been extremely fond of Britto, who was also the sole breadwinner of the family,” says Crosslin. Sahayaraj gave up on fishing as his health was failing. Now all they want is the information about their son, says Crosslin. The lack of information which has put the relatives under undue stress.
Aakash, brother of missing mariner Avinash Anandsekar, says they came to know about the incident only on Wednesday, that too through media, while the accident happened on Monday. “As soon as we heard the news we contacted his office, and much to our shock we found out it was true,” says Aakash.
“We are equally shocked that the entire world knew about the accident while we, the family members, were unaware and had to learn about it from the media,” says Aakash, who has written a letter to Nimbus. “We want to know how many ships and rescue aircraft have been pressed into service. We also want to know how the accident happened.”
Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar told Express that he would look into why the families of missing sailors were not informed by the shipping company. Nimbus official Sameer Dalvi could not be contacted despite several attempts. Manoj Joy, Community Development Manager of Sailors’ Society, says it’s parents who undergo lot of trauma.
“First they refuse to accept that their son is no more. Secondly, the case is not closed with parents hoping against hope that one day the son will return. It impacts the lives of the family and they need psychological support,” says Joy.