LONDON – The commercial vessel Galaxy Leader was unlawfully boarded by military personnel via helicopter and is now located in the Hodeidah port area in Yemen. Isle of Man registered Galaxy Maritime Ltd, the vessel’s owner, reported that all communications were subsequently lost with the ship.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis released video footage showing armed men dropping from a helicopter and seizing the cargo ship in the southern Red Sea. The United States condemned the seizure of the ship as a breach of international law and demanded the immediate release of the vessel and its crew.
The vessel, which is chartered by Japan’s Nippon Yusen, is crewed by nationals from Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Mexico, and Romania, according to Galaxy Maritime. The owners and managers believe the seizure of the vessel represents a serious threat to international trade and a gross violation of freedom of passage for the world fleet.
The Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader’s crew is currently being held by the perpetrators of this criminal act. The safety and security of the 25 crew members remain the key concern at this time, according to Galaxy Maritime.
The situation continues to unfold as efforts are made by various international entities to address this violation of international law and secure the immediate release of the vessel and its crew.
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