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Kin distraught as seafarer’s body fails to arrive

Panaji: If losing their loved one wasn't painful enough, the family of 42-year-old seafarer Naville Fernandes, was terribly disappointed to find that his mortal remains didn't arrive on the scheduled flight on Friday evening.

All arrangements for his funeral, which was to take place on Saturday evening, have now been postponed.

Naville's wife Malvika, was distraught to find that her husband's body, which was supposed to have left Mexico on Thursday and arrive into Goa the next day after changing four planes, was still in Mexico. "I am being harassed," she told REPORTERS.

The Goa NRI Commission, late Friday night, sent an email to the Indian Embassy in Mexico, which in turn explained there was a technical snag due to which the plane couldn't take off from Mexico. The embassy has promised to ensure the body is sent on the next available flight, OSD to the NRI commissioner U D Kamat, told REPORTERS.

Naville's family was provided a copy of the airway bill to be able to claim his body at the Goa International Airport, and was informed about the flight details sent from the embassy through the NRI Commission.

The mortal remains of Naville, who died on August 1, were due to travel from Mexico to the UK via the US, and then to Goa via Oman.

President of the Goan Seamen Association of India, Dixon Vaz, said the cruise company's approach was unacceptable and advised the government to act against it for its lack of professionalism. "This is a sensitive issue and the company should have acted sensitively," he said, threatening to approach the International Human Rights Commission over the issue.

A waiter on board a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship with 13 years of experience as a seafarer, Naville had only two more weeks to go for his job contract to end, before he could return home.

He told his wife he was stressed at work, and she learnt he had suffered a heart attack on board the ship that was on the second day of a seven-day cruise from Galveston, Texas, to Cozumel, Mexico, a popular Caribbean port.

Malvika told REPORTERS it was Naville's colleagues on board and later, officials of the funeral home, who intimated her about his death, instead of the company.

The company has stated it will not provide any compensation to the family.


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Source: Kin distraught as seafarer’s body fails to arrive

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