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Tragic Loss: Two Filipino Seafarers Killed in Houthi Attack in Gulf of Aden

In a solemn announcement, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has confirmed the devastating loss of two Filipino seafarers amidst the recent assault by Houthi rebels on vessels traversing the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Expressing profound sorrow, the DMW extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and loved ones of the fallen seafarers, whose identities are respectfully withheld for privacy.

Additionally, the department reveals that two other Filipino crew members sustained severe injuries during the harrowing attack on their vessel, prompting fervent prayers for their swift recovery.

Department of Migrant Workers Statement on the Death of Two Filipino Seafarers killed in the Gulf of Aden Houthi attack - Issued 07 March 2024
Department of Migrant Workers Statement on the Death of Two Filipino Seafarers killed in the Gulf of Aden Houthi attack - Issued 07 March 2024

In response to this tragedy, the DMW, under the directive of the President, pledges unwavering support and aid to the affected families of the deceased seafarers.

Efforts are underway as the DMW collaborates with the ship's manning agency and owner to assess the welfare of the remaining crew, particularly the Filipino members, who have reportedly been escorted to a secure harbor.

Related Video: Two dead in first fatal Houthi attack on Red Sea shipping

Moreover, the DMW is actively coordinating with the principal shipowner and manning agency to facilitate the repatriation of the remaining Filipino crew members.

In light of this distressing incident, the DMW emphasizes the importance of adhering to designated "high-risk areas" and implementing necessary precautions, such as rerouting vessels and deploying armed security personnel, for ships navigating the volatile sea lanes of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Furthermore, the department underscores the significance of sustained diplomatic endeavors aimed at de-escalating tensions and addressing the root causes of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

In November 27, 2023 Senator Imee Marcos pressed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Migrant Workers for a long-term strategy to negotiate the release of abducted Filipino seafarers as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict expands beyond the Gaza Strip.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said the lives of Filipino seafarers now face higher risks as Israel's attacks in Gaza could draw in more militant groups seeking to avenge the deaths of thousands of Palestinians.


๐ƒ๐Œ๐– ๐…๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐จ ๐‚๐ซ๐ž๐ฐ ๐Œ๐ž๐ง ๐’๐š๐Ÿ๐ž ๐€๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐Œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฅ๐ž ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐•๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง ๐†๐ฎ๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐€๐๐ž๐ง

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) confirms that ten Filipino crew members aboard the shipping vessel struck by a missile in the Gulf of Aden are safe and accounted for. 

“We welcome the report that our seafarers are safe and secure, away from the dangers they faced yesterday,” noted DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac. "I had a video call with all 10 Filipino crew members in a Djibouti hotel and attest to their safety." 

Earlier today, the DMW received confirmation from the ship’s manning agency that the crew members are currently staying at a hotel in Djibouti City, the capital of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. 

In addition, the Department clarified that three Filipino crewmen – not two as earlier reported – were injured in the missile attack. They are currently receiving medical care at a hospital in Djibouti City and are in stable condition. 

Meantime, senior officials of the DMW met directly with the family and kin of the two Filipino seafarers who died in the attack. 

“We have expressed our deepest sympathies to the families and will provide all the assistance and support needed by the families of our fallen seafarers, as directed by the President,” assured Cacdac. 

Following the President’s directive, Cacdac instructed the DMW’s concerned Regional Offices and its attached agency, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), to reach out to the families and relatives of all the crew members. 

The DMW is coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and its own Migrant Workers Office (MWO) in the Middle East to personally meet with the crew. 

“We are in coordination with the DFA, through its embassies and missions, as well as our Migrant Workers Offices (MWOs) in the region, to ascertain the crew members’ physical and medical conditions and to provide any immediate assistance required,” Cacdac noted. 

Houthi rebels based in Yemen launched a missile attack on the crew’s cargo vessel at about 5:30 pm yesterday (Manila time), 06 March 2024. The vessel was about 50 nautical miles away from Aden, the capital of Yemen. 

Based on the manning agency’s report, the missile struck the vessel’s fuel bunker section causing an explosion and engulfed the ship in flames. The magnitude of the explosion forced the crew to evacuate the ship immediately to avoid further injuries. 

An Indian Navy vessel, part of the international task force patrolling the volatile Red Sea – Gulf of Aden sea lanes, rescued the crew and brought them to Djibouti.

IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez issued the following statement 

"It is deeply saddening to follow the horrific reports of the casualties on the merchant vessel True Confidence, following an attack on the ship southwest of Aden, in Yemen.

I extend my deepest condolences and those of the entire IMO family to the families of those who have lost their lives, and our thoughts are with those who have been injured. Innocent seafarers should never become collateral victims.

I want to thank the efforts of all ships in the area in assisting the vessel and particularly its crew. We all need to do more to protect seafarers.

I once again call for collective action to fortify the safety of those who serve at sea. International trade depends on international shipping and international shipping cannot go on without seafarers.”


UPDATE: 11 March 2024

๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐“๐ซ๐ฎ๐ž ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐ฐ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐Œ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ฅ๐š ๐จ๐ง ๐“๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’

The Department of Migrant Workers confirms the return to the country of 11 Filipino crew members of the ship True Confidence on Tuesday, 12 March 2024. 

"We are preparing a fitting welcome for our brave seafarers upon their arrival,"  said DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac. 

The eleven returning seafarers are composed of the 10 unharmed crew members in the missile attack on their ship, the bulk carrier True Confidence, by Houthi rebels last Wednesday, 06 March 2024, as it was traversing the Gulf of Aden. 

The 11th returning crew member suffered minor injuries during the emergency evacuation of the ship. He was cleared by medical authorities as "fit for travel." 

Two of the remaining Filipino crew members of the True Confidence remain in a hospital in Djibouti City.

Their condition is stable and being monitored by medical professionals. They will be repatriated to the Philippines as soon as they are medically certified as "fit for travel." 

Meantime, recovery operations are underway for the retrieval of the remains of three crew members, two of them Filipino, who died in the missile attack. 

"We pray for the success of the salvaging operation so that the remains of our two fallen seafarers can be repatriated," Cacdac said, "As we continue to express our condolences and prayers to their families."

The DFA issued the travel documents to the returning crew members, whose flight arrangements are being managed by their shipping and manning agencies.

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