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20 May, 2024
 
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Filipino seafarers return home after surviving Yemen missile attack

Eleven sailors arrive in the Philippines following harrowing ordeal at sea

Source: Reuters

Eleven Filipino seafarers finally reached the shores of the Philippines on Tuesday, nearly a week after enduring a harrowing missile attack by Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen.

The seafarers had been crew members aboard the Barbados-flagged merchant vessel, True Confidence, which came under assault from Houthi forces last week, resulting in the tragic deaths of three sailors, including two Filipinos. Upon their arrival in Manila, the survivors were assisted by the migrant workers' ministry, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Mark Anthony Dagohoy, a crew member of the True Confidence, expressed gratitude for the military personnel who played a pivotal role in their rescue. Reflecting on their ordeal during a press conference, Dagohoy admitted the difficulty in recounting their experiences but emphasized their collective longing to reunite with their families.

Amidst the ordeal, two Filipino seafarers who sustained significant injuries are currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Djibouti. Once medically cleared, they will be repatriated to Manila.

The Houthi insurgency, which has intensified its attacks on ships traversing the Red Sea since November, claims its actions are in solidarity with Palestinians amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza. These assaults have disrupted global shipping routes, prompting companies to incur higher costs by rerouting vessels on longer and more expensive journeys around South Africa.

In response to the escalating risks faced by Filipino seafarers, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega announced on Tuesday that the Philippine government has brokered an agreement with the International Transport Workers Federation. This deal grants Filipino seafarers the right to decline deployments in high-risk areas, offering them greater protection against potential dangers at sea.

The Philippines remains a vital source of maritime labor for the global shipping industry. Seafarers from the country contribute significantly to the economy, with remittances from overseas Filipino workers exceeding $2.5 billion monthly. These financial inflows bolster consumer spending, thereby fueling growth within the domestic economy.

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Cyprus  |  Philippines  |  Yemen  |  Greece

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