The Philippine government has welcomed the latest batch of its seafarers home after helping rescue them from ships stranded off Ukraine’s war-torn southern coast.

In total, 341 Filipino seafarers have now made it safely back from the region since the crisis began with Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

In the latest development, 12 seafarers made it safely back to Manila from the 53,500-dwt Filia Joy (built 2009) and 58,000-dwt Filia Glory (built 2011). Both vessels are listed as controlled by Greece’s Pitiousa Shipping.

According to AIS data, the two bulk carriers are currently off the coast of southern Ukraine in a region that has seen intense fighting.

The seafarers were evacuated through the Philippine honorary consulate in Chisinau, Moldova, in cooperation with the Philippines’ embassy in Budapest, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this week, 19 Filipino seafarers made it back home from Lomar Shipping’s 46,700-dwt bulker Chariana L (built 1997) which is moored alongside on the Ukraine coast.

In most cases, such vessels have not been abandoned following the return of Philippine crew. Local Ukraine seafarers have ensured they are safely maintained.

A further 41 Philippine nationals, who were not working as seafarers, have been assisted by their government to get home.