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23 Feb 2021

The Curren

After 3 years abandoned at sea without pay, this oil tanker crew is on cusp of going home

As the passing months turned into years, Win found himself unable to support his family back in Myanmar. He told The Current that they were forced to borrow money to survive, and his son and daughter both had to leave university when he couldn't keep up with the fees...

"Without money, how can they eat … with no money, how do we manage?" he said...

The crew also didn't have their passports — Win's has expired — or the necessary visas to enter the U.A.E, he explained. And due to safety concerns, it is illegal for a crew to abandon a ship in open water...

Win's journey home may be delayed however, as the political situation in Myanmar complicates travel. 

"I'll stay in the U.A.E. maybe one month, two months, I don't know," he said.

"I'm already thinking I will retire, I don't want to do seaman life; I'm too afraid."