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Photo of the MV True Confidence after it was struck by a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile in the western Gulf of Aden, March 6, 2024. Photo courtesy U.S. Central Command.

Photo of the MV True Confidence after it was struck by a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile in the western Gulf of Aden, March 6, 2024. Photo courtesy U.S. Central Command

Shipping Reacts to Fatal Attack on ‘True Confidence’

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7187
March 7, 2024

The deaths of three seafarers on board the True Confidence following a Houthi missile strike marks first fatalities since the Houthis stepped up attacks against merchant shipping in November. Below are some industry reactions to the incident:

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.”

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF):

“Our hearts ache for the families and loved ones of the seafarers who lost their lives and were injured in this horrific attack. We stand in unwavering solidarity with them during this time of unimaginable grief and offer our support in navigating the aftermath of this tragedy.

“We have consistently warned the international community and the maritime industry about the escalating risks faced by seafarers in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. Today, with profound sorrow, we see those warnings tragically confirmed.

ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair David Heindel:

“It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that we extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the seafarers who lost their lives in the tragic and unprovoked attack by Houthi violence. I cannot find adequate words to express the profound sadness that envelops us upon learning of this devastating loss.

“These brave seafarers embarked on their journeys with a commitment to connect nations, facilitate trade, and uphold the vital maritime industry. Their dedication to their profession was an embodiment of resilience and courage. The news of their untimely departure weighs heavily on all of us, and we stand together in mourning the immeasurable loss.”

Joint industry statement from BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, IMCA, European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA), Intermanager, and OCIMF:

“Industry Associations express their deep concern over the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered by the crew of MV True Confidence in an attack in the Red Sea on 6 March 2024. The loss of life and injuries to civilian seafarers is completely unacceptable. Merchant vessels crewed by civilian seafarers transporting global trade have a right to innocent passage through the region without the threat of attack. The frequency of attacks on merchant shipping highlights the urgent need for all stakeholders to take decisive action to safeguard the lives of innocent civilian seafarers and put an end to such threats. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all those affected by this terrible event.”

David Cameron, UK Foreign Secretary:

Appalled to hear about the deaths of MV True Confidence international crew members in a Houthi attack in the Red Sea. Our thoughts are with their families. We condemn the Houthis’ reckless & indiscriminate attacks on global shipping & demand they stop. We will continue to stand up for freedom of navigation and back our words with actions.

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