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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 Held Hostage for 200 Days by Houthi Militants

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2000
June 18, 2024

The manager of the seized car carrier Galaxy Leader is renewing its plea for the release of 25 crew members held hostage by Houthi militants on board the vessel. The individuals have now been detained for over seven months, or roughly 200 days, near Hodeida, Yemen.

The Galaxy Leader was seized on November 19, 2023, marking the first and only vessel captured by Houthi forces since they initiated their attacks on shipping in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The ship is owned Galaxy Maritime Ltd based on the Isle of Man, which is a subsidiary of Ray Car Carriers. It is managed by STAMCO Ship Management Co. Ltd.

The detained crew is multinational, with the Master and Chief Officer hailing from Bulgaria, 17 members from the Philippines, and the rest from Ukraine, Mexico, and Romania.

“The welfare and safety of the crew remains the highest priority for managers and owners of the Galaxy Leader and all the governments represented by crew members have been working hard to make contact with the Houthis and obtain the release of their citizens, who have nothing whatsoever to do with any regional or local conflicts,” STAMCO said in a statement.

The International Chamber of Shipping has unequivocally stated that detaining seafarers against their will directly contravenes international law and violates the fundamental principles of freedom of navigation.

“After 7 months of having to feed the 25 hostages and deal with their security, managers believe there is nothing to be gained by the Houthis in keeping the 25 crew members and asks for them to be released home to their families without further delay,” the statement said.

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