As the media responds to the recent arrest of the vessel MV SEAMAN GUARD OHIO, the predominant headlines report that the armed vessel violated Indian sovereignty by sailing within the country’s 12 nautical mile “territorial waters” limit. A newly released document from the Tamil Nadu Police tells a different story.
The document, written in Tamil, states that the MV Seaman Guard Ohio was enticed by the Indian Coast Guard to sail towards the shore and escape from the turbulent cyclonic weather conditions. Almost 19 nautical miles away from the coast, the MV Seaman Guard Ohio was intercepted by the Coast Guard cutter and escorted to the port. The vessel was subsequently detained.
The document clearly states that the vessel was within international waters when intercepted. In an exclusive gCaptain interview AdvanFort President Will Watson said, “On this count alone, the case deserves to be dismissed in limine, as India is a signatory to various international maritime treaties supposedly protecting seafarers from state-sponsored crime.”
AdvanFort is currently reaching out via all diplomatic channels to resolve this issue and free the vessel’s crew who are currently being detained in an Indian jail.
Below is the actual document, click for larger