Three Killed by Houthi Attack, First Fatalities In Assaults On Shipping

Shipping associations and unions express their deep concern over the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered by the crew of MV True Confidence in an attack in the Red Sea on 6 March 2024.

Both the trade union Nautilus International and industry sent messages of sympathy to the families and friends of the crew.

A show of support also came in the form of a joint industry statement from a number organisations, including Bimco, Intertanko, OCIMF, CLIA, Intercargo, ECSA, IMCA, ICS, InterManager and World Shipping Council who said, among other things, that the “merchant vessels crewed by civilian seafarers transporting global trade have a right to innocent passage through the region without the threat of attack.”

The industry bodies condemned the Houthi attack and highlighted the urgent need for all stakeholders to take decisive action to safeguard the lives of innocent civilian seafarers and put an end to such threats.

Now trade unions call for halt to Red Sea transits to safeguard seafarers.

Nautilus International, a union that supports the interests of more than 20,000 maritime professionals in the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland, believes it is time for those shipowners who are continuing to transit through the Red Sea to reassess the necessity of their decision, considering recent events including the sinking of Rubymar and the tragic incident onboard True Confidence.

The fatal attack on the bulk carrier True Confidence on 6 March has once again highlighted the extreme risks that seafarers are exposed to while transiting the volatile Red Sea area.

“We understand the commercial pressures faced by shipowners and the strategic importance of the Red Sea as a global shipping route. However, no commercial interests should ever take precedence over the safety and lives of our seafarers.

“Any vessel could potentially come under attack and shipowners should not be complacent when seafarers’ lives are at risk,” reads the statement of Nautilus International.

Since the attacks on commercial shipping off Yemen started in November 2023, Nautilus members have been contacting the Union to ask about their rights to protection or diversion away from the Red Sea.

The union says the recent events have demonstrated that the risk from these “indiscriminate attacks” is no longer isolated to vessels with meaningful links to Israel, the UK or the US, and any vessel could potentially come under attack and shipowners should not be complacent when seafarers’ lives are at risk.

“We call on shipowners to urgently reassess the necessity of any planned transits considering the worsening situation until such time as there is a significant improvement in the security situation,” added the union in its message.  

Source: Nautilus International