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FILE PHOTO: An EUNAVFOR warship escorts a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. Photo: EUNAVFOR

FILE PHOTO: An EUNAVFOR warship escorts a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. Photo: EUNAVFOR

US and UK Seafarers to Earn Double Pay for Red Sea Transits

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2971
January 19, 2024

Seafarers working on vessels connected to the United Kingdom and the United States sailing through the Red Sea are set to receive double pay due to increased threats from Houthi rebels.

According to trade union Nautilus International, the UK warlike operations area committee (WOAC) has extended its existing recommendations, previously limited to Israeli-linked vessels, to include those with ties to the UK and the US.

This change allows seafarers on the affected vessels to either disembark at a suitable port before entering the high-risk zone or receive twice their usual pay for each day spent in the area. The updated guidelines will take effect from 19th January 2024.

The decision comes in light of escalating threats from Houthi rebels, who have declared all British and American assets as legitimate targets following ‘targeted strikes’ in Yemen by the UK and the US in an effort to protect freedom of navigation.

David Appleton, head of professional and technical at Nautilus International, welcomed the decision, emphasizing the importance of the safety of merchant navy seafarers who play a critical role in maintaining global supply chains.

“While seafarers often work in high-risk situations, all measures must be taken to protect the lives of these civilians who are vital to securing global supply chains. Seafarer safety must take precedence over commercial interests. It is now imperative that shipping companies transiting through the high-risk area give seafarers every opportunity to disembark or to ensure they are remunerated in line with the WOAC recommendations,” said Appleton.

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