Part of Dali crew cleared to go home as ship readies for repairs

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Court allows ten crew members to go home as the container ship prepares for repairs in Norfolk.

At least ten crew members of the M/V Dali container ship, stranded in the Port of Baltimore for three months, have been permitted to return home following a recent court hearing.

On March 26, the vessel lost power, veered off course, and collided with Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, resulting in the tragic deaths of six construction workers.

Following an extensive salvage operation, on May 20, the container ship was refloated and moved to the Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore.

Throughout the salvage and debris removal operations, the Dali crew members (21 seafarers), mostly Indian nationals, have remained aboard the vessel. This prolonged period onboard has raised concerns about their mental well-being and physical welfare.

Rev. Joshua Messick, Executive Director of the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Center, said recently that the crew members were feeling nervous and anxious as they have families and are uncertain when they will reunite with them. The crew has faced challenges, including restricted communication, as their cell phones were confiscated by FBI investigators.

Attorneys representing the City of Baltimore have argued that the crew should remain in the US to participate in ongoing civil litigation concerning the responsibilities for covering costs and damages resulting from the bridge collapse, as reported by The Washington Post.

Nevertheless, in recent court filings, it was stated that the eight crew members scheduled to return home have already been interviewed by Department of Justice investigators, who do not object to their departure.

Meanwhile, the Dali is also set to leave Baltimore and head for Norfolk, Virginia to undergo repairs. According to CNN, four crew members will stay on board for the voyage.

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