The Perilous Journeys of Sailors in Red Sea-Urgent Appeal launched

The Sailors’ Society, a global maritime charity, has launched an urgent crisis appeal in response to escalating attacks on ships navigating the perilous waters of the Red Sea.

The charity brings into sharp focus the human cost of these conflicts, with seafarers facing the chilling dangers of explosive drones and missiles while performing their duties.

The wave of attacks on ships in the Red Sea region by Yemen’s Houthis has caused the biggest disruption to global trade since the pandemic.

While much has been reported on supply chain issues and the financial costs of rerouting ships, there is an acute human cost with seafarers caught up in the conflict.

These men and women are simply doing their job transporting more than 90 per cent of everything we use and own, reads the Sailors’ Society statement.

The seafarers are not just in physical danger but also require urgent mental health and well-being support.

“Now they face the very real danger of explosive drones and missiles – and shipping companies are calling Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network to request mental health and wellbeing support.”

Sara Baade, Sailors’ Society chief executive, said: “Seafarers did not sign up to be shot at. Any seafarer approaching the Red Sea today is going to be extremely anxious and diverting around the Horn of Africa instead brings its own challenges with the tropical cyclone that has pounded Mauritius and fear of piracy around Somalia and the Gulf of Guinea.”

The strain of this situation is further compounded by the extended separation from their families, a harsh reality of their profession.

“At the very least they will be delayed returning home to loved ones who they have already been separated from for many months,” Sara Baade added.

“Our 24/7 Crisis Response Network can help prepare seafarers, can support worried families and is there for any longer-lasting effects of trauma.”