Most of the Filipino seafarers stranded in India since June are now back home in the Philippines.

In a statement on Sunday, November 18, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said 15 of the 21 stranded seafarers returned to the country on Saturday, November 17.

They had been stranded at Kakinada Port, more than 1,800 kilometers from New Delhi. They were crew members of MV Evangelia M, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier abandoned by its Greek owners.

Philippine Ambassador to India Maria Teresita Daza said the 6 other Filipino crew members still in India will be repatriated “as soon as their exit clearances are issued.”

Daza also said the Philippine embassy in New Delhi and the Consulate General in Chennai “worked closely with Indian port authorities and the Admiral Shipping Agency, the local agent in India, for the resolution of the case.”

Cash assistance was given to the seafarers at Kakinada Port as well, according to Daza. The amount given was not specified in the DFA statement.

The DFA said it is coordinating with local manning agency Evic Human Resource Management Incorporated to ensure that the seafarers would get their remaining salaries and legal aid.