Filipino Crew Members Attacked by Houthi Rebels Returning Home

This image obtained from the US Central Command on March 6, 2024 shows the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier True Confidence after it was hit by anti-ship ballistic missile launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Photo by Handout / US Central Command (CENTCOM) / AFP
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The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Monday that 11 Filipino crew members of the ship True Confidence, which came under a missile attack by Houthi rebels, are expected to arrive home today, March 12.

“We are preparing a warm welcome for our courageous seafarers upon their arrival,” stated Hans Leo Cacdac, the Migrant Workers Officer in Charge.

During the emergency evacuation of the burning ship, one of the crewmen sustained minor injuries. The DMW confirmed that he has been cleared by medical authorities as “fit for travel.”

According to a statement issued by the DMW on Monday, two other Filipino crewmen who were wounded in the attack are currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Djibouti City. They are reported to be in stable condition and will be repatriated as soon as they are medically fit to travel.

Last week, the Liberian-owned, Barbados-flagged ship was hit by a missile while sailing in the Gulf of Aden, causing it to catch fire. Tragically, three crew members, including two Filipinos, lost their lives in the attack.

The DMW informed that efforts are still underway to recover the remains of the three deceased crew members from the burned ship. “We pray for the success of the salvaging operation so that the remains of our fallen seafarers can be repatriated, as we continue to express our condolences and prayers to their families,” expressed Cacdac.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued travel documents for the returning crew members, while their shipping and manning agencies are handling flight arrangements.

This incident highlights the risks faced by seafarers who navigate through conflict zones and volatile regions. The bravery and resilience of these Filipino crew members serve as a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the maritime industry.

The Philippines, being one of the world’s largest suppliers of seafarers, has implemented various measures to protect and support its migrant workers. The DMW plays a crucial role in ensuring the welfare and safety of Filipino seafarers, providing assistance and guidance in times of crisis.

It is important to recognize the international cooperation involved in repatriating the injured and deceased crew members. The collaboration between the DMW, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the shipping and manning agencies demonstrates the commitment of multiple stakeholders in safeguarding the rights and well-being of seafarers.

As the crew members return home, it is essential to provide them with the necessary support and resources for their physical and emotional recovery. The traumatic experience they have endured may have lasting effects, and it is crucial to prioritize their well-being during the repatriation process.

The DMW’s efforts to ensure the safe return of these seafarers and the support extended by the Philippine government and relevant agencies reflect the nation’s commitment to protecting its migrant workers.

In conclusion, the imminent return of the 11 Filipino crew members who survived the missile attack by Houthi rebels is a testament to their resilience and the collective efforts of various organizations involved in their repatriation. The Philippines continues to prioritize the welfare of its seafarers, recognizing the risks they face while carrying out their duties. As they arrive home, it is vital to provide them with the necessary support to aid their recovery from this traumatic experience.

Source: The Manila Times

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