IMO Condemns First Seafarer Deaths in Yemen Crisis

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday March 7, 2024

The International Maritime Organization has expressed its condolences following the first seafarer deaths caused by the recent spate of attacks on commercial shipping near Yemen.

Three seafarers were killed when the dry bulk carrier True Confidence was hit by a missile in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday. The remainder of the crew abandoned the vessel after the attack.

"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," IMO Secretary General Arsenio Dominguez said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

"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."

Commercial ships operating near Yemen have been coming under attack from the country's Houthi movement over the past three months in a response to the conflict in Gaza.

Several leading shipping companies are now avoiding the region altogether, taking longer routes around Africa rather than using the Suez Canal. This is likely to deliver a significant boost to bunker demand and freight markets while the current situation continues.