Fifteen of 21 Filipino seafarers abandoned by their employer at a port in eastern India have returned home to the Philippines, officials have revealed.

The Foreign Affairs Department in Manila said the first batch of seafarers stranded at Kakinada port onboard their vessel by their Greek employer for three months, The Filipino Times reported.

The crewmen were abandoned onboard the MV Evangelia M, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, at Kakinada, which is east of Hyderabad.

Officials said the workers had claimed their unpaid salaries from local recruitment agencies and would be given legal assistance.

“The 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 a resolution of the case,” a statement from the department said.

Ambassador to India Teresita Daza said the remaining six workers would be brought back as soon as possible.

ReadFilipino crew stuck aboard ship in Indian port for 3 months