ITF Calls for Action to Ensure Seafarer Protection from Houthis

Houthis attacking a container ship
Updated Published

On June 24, a day before International Seafarers Day, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the seafarers’ union urged the global community to take action to ensure the safety and security of seafarers. 

This call to action follows the loss of crew members’ lives due to increased attacks on ships in the Red Sea. ITF has requested immediate measures to protect seafarers and maintain the safety of maritime routes.

Since November 2023, there have been ongoing attacks by Houthis on ships in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Bab al-Mandab Strait. That same year, four crew members lost their lives while on duty.

In March 2024, three crew members of the vessel True Confidence were killed in an attack, and the remaining crew had to evacuate to save their lives.

On June 12, the Liberian-registered bulk carrier Tutor was attacked, resulting in significant damage to the vessel and the death of one crew member. Another attack on June 13 caused severe injuries to a crew member of the general cargo vessel Verbena

Most recently, on Sunday, June 23, the vessel Transworld Navigator was attacked by Houthis using an uncrewed aerial system (UAS), causing minor injuries to the crew members.

The ITF has expressed deep concern over these recent attacks by Houthi militants in the Red Sea. Over the past six months, Iranian-backed Houthis have targeted sixty commercial vessels, sinking two, seizing another, and damaging many more in support of Palestinians in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The ITF has also called for the release of the crew members of the vessel Galaxy Leader, attacked in November 2023, and MSC Aries, seized by Iran in April 2024.