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Nautilus calls for Red Sea transit halt after True Confidence attack

Photo: US CENTCOM X Feed Bulker True Confidence following fatal Houthi missile strike
Trade union Nautilus International has called for a halt to Red Sea transits to protect the lives of seafarers.

The appeal comes after three seafarers were killed when bulk carrier True Confidence was struck by a missile in the Red Sea on March 6. 

“We believe it is time for those shipowners who are continuing to transit through the Red Sea to reassess the necessity of their decision considering recent events including the sinking of Rubymar and the tragic incident onboard True Confidence,” said Nautilus.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also called for ships to be diverted around the the Cape of Good Hope to protect seafarers until their safety can be guaranteed in the Red Sea.

Nautilus said it understands the commercial pressure that leads ships to take the Red Sea and Suez Canal, but that commercial interests should not take precedence over the safety and lives of seafarers.

The route through the Red Sea and Suez canal is shorter for many of the main global trade routes between Asia and Northern Europe, saving time at sea and money in fuel and other operational costs.

“Any vessel could potentially come under attack and shipowners should not be complacent when seafarers’ lives are at risk,” said Nautilus.

The union also warned that ongoing attacks in the waters around Yemen have proven that the threat is not limited to vessels with clear ties to Israel, the US, or the UK.