Filipino Crew Members Killed in Houthi Missile Attack – Latest Update

This black-and-white image released by the US military's Central Command shows the fire aboard the bulk carrier True Confidence after a missile attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. PHOTO BY US CENTRAL COMMAND VIA AP
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MANILA, Philippines: In a tragic incident, two Filipino crew members lost their lives in a missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on a ship in the Gulf of Aden. This attack marks the first deaths resulting from Houthi attacks on merchant vessels transiting the crucial Red Sea trade route.

The Department of Migrant Workers expressed deep sorrow as it confirmed the deaths of the two Filipino seafarers in the recent Houthi rebel attack on ships navigating the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In addition to the fatalities, two other Filipino crewmen were severely injured in the assault on their vessel.

The Philippine government is actively working with the ship owners and the crewing agency to gather information about the condition of the remaining crew members. Their safety and well-being are of utmost importance.

According to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned M/V True Confidence was struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile. The crew reported three fatalities, at least four injuries (three of which are critical), and significant damage to the ship. This incident highlights the severity of the attack and the impact it had on the vessel and its crew.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree claimed on social media that the ship was targeted with missiles after the crew rejected warning messages from the rebels. The rebels have been conducting a series of attacks on ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea since November, citing their intention to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The safety and security of merchant vessels and their crews are of paramount importance. Such attacks not only pose a threat to the lives of seafarers but also disrupt international trade and commerce. The international community must come together to condemn these acts of violence and ensure the safety of maritime routes.

It is crucial for nations to collaborate and implement measures to protect ships and their crews from such attacks. Increased surveillance, intelligence sharing, and the presence of naval forces can help deter future incidents and safeguard the lives of seafarers.

The Philippines, being one of the world’s largest suppliers of seafarers, is deeply affected by this tragedy. The government must continue to work closely with international partners to address the security concerns in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Additionally, ship owners and crewing agencies should prioritize the safety and welfare of their personnel, providing them with adequate training and resources to handle such situations.

In the face of these challenging circumstances, the resilience and bravery of seafarers should be acknowledged. They play a vital role in global trade and deserve our utmost respect and support. As an international community, it is our duty to ensure their safety and protect their rights.

The loss of two Filipino crew members in the Houthi missile attack is a somber reminder of the risks faced by seafarers in their line of work. Let us honor their memory by working towards a safer and more secure maritime environment, where seafarers can carry out their duties without fear of harm.

Together, we can strive for a world where seafaring is a profession that is respected, protected, and valued.

Source: The Manila Times

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