Dramatic images show Genco’s ship after Houthi attack in Gulf of Aden

Seafarers working on vessels connected to the United Kingdom and the United States sailing through the Red Sea will receive double pay for each day the ship is in the area and will have the option to disembark before reaching the risky areas.

UK-based trade union Nautilus International has welcomed the expanded agreement to protect seafarers in the red sea, with connections to the UK and the US.

According to the union, the warlike operations area committee (WOAC) agreed to expand its existing recommendations to cover vessels with connections to the UK and the US, as previously the recommendations only covered vessels with links to Israel.

The agreement allows for seafarers on these vessels to be given the opportunity to disembark at an appropriate port prior to transiting through the high-risk area, or to receive double pay for each day the ship is in the area.

The updated recommendations will take effect from 19th January 2024.

The committee agreed the recommendations considering the increased threat posed by Houthi rebels who stated that all British and American assets were legitimate targets, after the UK and US launched ‘targeted strikes’ in Yemen to ‘protect freedom of navigation’.

David Appleton, Nautilus International head of professional and technical, said: “This is a welcome move, and we are pleased agreement was reached between unions, employers, and government.

“Merchant navy seafarers, like all workers, have the right to carry out their jobs in a safe environment. While seafarers often work in high-risk situations, all measures must be taken to protect the lives of these civilians who are vital to securing global supply chains.

“Seafarer safety must take precedence over commercial interests.

“It is now imperative that shipping companies transiting through the high-risk area give seafarers every opportunity to disembark or to ensure they are remunerated in line with the WOAC recommendations.”