The owner and manager of the car carrier seized by Houthi forces last month have made a renewed plea for the freedom of the crew.
Ray Car Carriers company Galaxy Maritime and Greek technical and crew manager Stamco Ship Management said in a statement that the 25 seafarers on board the 5,100-ceu Galaxy Leader (built 2002) are being “treated as well as can be expected in the circumstances”, according to the “modest contact” allowed so far with their families.
The vessel was boarded and taken to Hodeidah on 19 November as part of the Iran-backed Yemeni rebel group’s effort to force concessions from Israel in its war on Hamas.
The owner and manager said the seafarers “have no connection whatsoever with the current situation in the region”.
The companies called on “all those nations with citizens being held by the Houthis to re-double their efforts, alongside owners and managers, to secure their release and immediate return to their loved ones. Nothing can be achieved by their further detention.”
Galaxy Maritime and Stamco applauded the actions so far of the Philippines’ maritime authorities and other maritime administrations to secure a release of the 17 Filipino seafarers, two Bulgarians, three Ukrainians, a Romanian and two Mexicans.
“The safety and welfare of the crew members remains the priority of both owners and managers,” the companies said.
Ray Car Carriers is registered in the Isle of Man, but is controlled by Israeli tycoon Abraham “Rami” Ungar.
The Galaxy Leader incident was the first in a spate of attacks by Houthi forces on merchant shipping over the last two weeks, but it remains the only ship under their control.