Syrian sailor freed after 4 years prisoner on a ship in Egypt
How does a Syrian sailor trapped in the Suez Canal live?The story of the Syrian Mohammed Aisha, who remained a prisoner on the Aman ship for four long years, and finally freed yesterday by the Egyptian authorities in very bad physical and mental conditions, is truly incredible. His odyssey began in July 2017, when the 4,000-ton motor ship Aman was seized in the port of Adabiya, at the northern end of the Suez Canal, because it had neither documents nor security systems in order.
The sailor Mohammed Aisha was the chief officer on the Bahraini flagged MV Aman for two months before Egyptian officials kept it in May 2017 for having expired safety supplies documents. The Syrian man was then made “legal guardian” of the ship by the Egyptian judiciary, which precluded him from leaving the Aman vessel until it was sold or a replacement custodian found.
His tribulation was prolonged moreover when facing an economic crisis in Bahrain, the Aman’s Lebanese landlords failed in 2017 to pay for fuel.Talking to the BBC on Thursday before embarking on his flight back to his hometown in Syria, Mohammed Aisha said to feel like someone leaving a prison. The sailor, interviewed by the American channel stated: “How do I feel? Like I finally got out of prison. I’m finally going to be re-joined with my family. I’m going to see them again.”
Aisha stressed that the deepest point of his four years aboard the MV Aman vessel was when his mother passed away. The craft also had no power and was capped in rodents and bugs. The sailor would later be able to swim aground every few days to recharge his telephone and watch for food and water following a storm that blew the Aman ship off its anchorage in March last year. The vessel floated five miles, eventually reaching stranded a few hundred meters from the shoreline.
Mohammed Aisha’s seafarers left him in September 2019, so he remained alone on MV Aman for almost two years. According to local media reports, a doctor who examined the Syrian sailor before he commenced his journey home said he looked malnourished, anaemic, and suffering from manifestations typical of someone imprisoned in miserable conditions.