Crews under immense stress amid Red Sea attacks

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As stated by the new IMO secretary general, Arsenio Dominguez, “the wellbeing of seafarers is paramount” as these unsung heroes have faced the threat of ongoing Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea area since November. “We need to remember that they are actually victims, innocent victims, of this particular case and we have to remember that they are just as human as you and I.”  The Galaxy Leader, the first vessel attacked and its crew are still being held by Houthi rebels in Yemen and they have turned the vessel into a tourist attraction. Onboard the Galaxy Leader were 25 crew members, including 17 from the Philippines; other crew members came from Bulgaria (including the captain and first mate), Ukraine, Mexico, and Romania. Mr. Dominguez called for the release of the crew at this first IMO meeting. Earlier today, the Marlin Luanda, a petroleum products tanker vessel operated on behalf of Trafigura, was struck by a missile as it transited the Red Sea. Operator Trafigura told the BBC the strike caused a fire in one of the ship’s cargo tanks and firefighting equipment was being used to contain it.

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