AsiaDry CargoOperations

Crew of diverted tanker will face one month’s quarantine before they can get home

The China Dawn, the aframax that altered course from Singapore to India on Tuesday at the behest of the ship’s master, will arrive in Kochi next Thursday where the disembarking crew will not be able to get home for another month.

Splash understands the crew will face four weeks of quarantine and three days of processing before they can get back to their homes.

The tanker diverted for India three days ago, with the master citing the mental strain he and his crew have been under with the protracted extra weeks at sea thanks to the travel restrictions put in place around the world stemming from the coronavirus.

The China Dawn was en route from South Africa to Singapore when the ship suddenly changed course.

After much dialogue between connected parties in the ensuing 48 hours owners and charterers have yesterday agreed for this vessel diversion. The aframax is owned by Hong Kong’s Nan Fung Shipping.

The ship features seven crew who have worked beyond their contract terms, unable to get home thanks to the coronavirus, with the ship’s master featuring in a high profile article in Hong Kong’s Sunday Morning Post over the weekend, quoted as saying: “We are stuck at sea, we are prisoners at sea.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Hopefully he and his lot will b arrested, charged with piracy and become prisoners ashore. Then they can see their loved ones, with no long hrs. to work and great wages of 100 rupees per day !!!!

  2. Splash understands incorrectly! The quarantine of the crew will NOT be 30 days. We can all wait to see how it pans out, but please don’t print ‘rumors’. Thank you.

  3. Bottom line: they couldn’t wait few more weeks to have airlines operating and COVID19 measures lifted, so they will spend those weeks in quarantined in India !! not to mention career impact of such move .. well done.

  4. This is outrageous that the crew is held responsible for the actions of the Master. They have shifted from being prisoners at sea to being prisoners ashore. 3 weeks of processing or prison interrogation?? If I recall India has a very poor record in treatment of unscheduled visits from seafarers. If piracy was the case I am sure the Master would be smart enough to head to Somalia not Kochi. The treatment of seafarers and the contingency planning for events such as these clearly was very poor. IMO discussed the reduction fuel sulphur for 10 years….how much time was spent in planning to respond to a potential pandemic that scientists forecasted 20 years ago. The shipping community should learn to embrace science and scientists and not the opinions of political hacks on international regulatory committees. Comparing this incident to a mutiny is nonsense. If any of you people read books I suggest you read “Mutiny on the Bounty”….now that was a real mutiny!

  5. The Captain hasn’t done his career any good by this bold decision – some may say a ‘foolhardy’ one. But the invaluable service he has done for seafarers is that he has drawn attention to their plight. Seamen are The Forgotten Tribe. Nobody cares for them. They are in Lockdown all their lives when at sea – the difference being that it is worse at sea. There is only water instead of land, parks & trees; there are no doctors or nurses to treat them should they fall sick; there are no TV channels, no Netflix, no Amazon Prime; probably no internet either. This is a normal day at sea. They are stuck in their watery prisons indefinitely, and yet have to work seven days a week. Spare a thought for them.

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