Join our crew and become one of the 105,252 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

Hijacked Galaxy Leader Owner Encouraged by Reports of Imminent Release of Crew

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 10602
December 29, 2023

The owner of the Galaxy Leader car carrier that was hijacked by the Houthis as it transited the Red Sea in November says it is encouraged by reports of the imminent release of the ship’s crew.

Galaxy Maritime Ltd, the Isle of Man registered owner of the Galaxy Leader, issued its latest statement on Friday in response to reports from the Philippines that the release of the 17 Filipino seafarers being held is imminent.

The Galaxy Leader, a Bermuda-flagged car carrier chartered by Japanese shipping company NYK, was illegally boarded by armed assailants via helicopter on November 19 as it transited the Red Sea. The ship, which reportedly has ties to an Israeli businessman, has continued to be held in Yemen waters along with its 25 crew.

The ship owner and managers had been hoping to secure the release of the crew members in time for return to their families for Christmas.

“Despite all efforts and those of all the authorities represented by crew members from Bulgaria, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine and the Philippines, our valued seafarers remain in the hands of the Houthis,” Galaxy Maritime said.

Given the considerable costs in repatriation of the seafarers, the company said it is committed covering the costs associated with repatriation and support any operational issues involved.

The Galaxy Leader is the only ship that has been hijacked by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, who have launched a series of drone and missile attacks against shipping purportedly in support of Palestinians who are under siege by Israel in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. According to the U.S., the group has carried out 22 attacks or attempted attacks against merchant ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since October.

Although the attacks appear to be indiscriminate, the Houthis have maintained that they are only targeting Israeli-linked ships or ships traveling to Israel.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up
close

JOIN OUR CREW

Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 105,252 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.