Join our crew and become one of the 104,674 members that receive our newsletter.

A Yemeni Coast Guard boat sails near the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen's Houthis last month, off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023.

A Yemeni Coast Guard boat sails near the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen's Houthis last month, off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Galaxy Leader Crew Allowed ‘Modest’ Contact with Family

Total Views: 5089
December 5, 2023

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The crew of the Galaxy Leader commercial ship seized by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis last month have been allowed “modest contact” with their families while various countries push for their release, the vessel’s owner said this week.

The Bahamas flagged car carrier was taken to the port of Hodeidah in the Houthi controlled north of Yemen after being boarded at sea on Nov. 19 by commandos with the group. 

The vessel’s crew is made up of nationals from Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Mexico and Romania, Galaxy Maritime said. The vessel is chartered by Japan’s Nippon Yusen.

“The safety and welfare of the crew members remains the priority of both owners and managers and the modest contact that has been allowed with crew members and their families suggests that the seafarers are being treated as well as can be expected in the circumstances,” Isle of Man registered owner Galaxy Maritime Ltd, said in a statement on Monday.

“The 25 crew members being held have no connection whatsoever with the current situation in the region,” the owner said. “Nothing can be achieved by their further detention.”

The United States has blamed the Houthis for a series of attacks in Middle Eastern waters since war broke out between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Oct. 7. Three vessels were attacked in the Red Sea area on Sunday.

At an assembly session on Monday of the UN shipping agency’s highest governing body, the United States, the Bahamas and Japan called for the unconditional release of the Galaxy Leader and its crew.

Japan’s delegation told the International Maritime Organization assembly that it “strongly condemns those acts which threaten the safety and freedom of navigation in that area.” 

The Bahamas said the various attacks including the Galaxy Leader were a “violation of all of the norms relating to innocent passage of ships.” 

“Here we have non-state actors so who do you hold responsible?” the Bahamas said, referring to the Houthis.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Grant McCool)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

Weekly Insights from the Helm

Dive into a sea of information with our meticulously curated weekly “Dispatch” email. It’s more than just a newsletter; it’s your personal maritime briefing.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join gCaptain Club?

Be Informed: Stay updated with the latest maritime news and trends.

Connect: Network with a community of maritime professionals and enthusiasts.

Gain Insights: Receive exclusive content and personal perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 104,674 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

gCaptain’s full coverage of the maritime shipping industry, including containerships, tankers, dry bulk, LNG, breakbulk and more.