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Seamen’s mission pleads for detour via South Africa

The situation in the Red Sea is still dangerous for ship crews. The German Seamen’s Mission is, therefore, calling for ships to take a detour via South Africa.

It is also calling for the release of the crew of the “Galaxy Leader”, which was abducted by the Houthi militia. “The seafarers are exposed to a huge double burden – in the event of an attack, but also due to the fear of being hit when passing through the strait,” says Matthias Ristau, Secretary General of the German Seamen’s Mission.

Deutsche Seemannsmission, Matthias Ristau
Matthias Ristau

Ristau is in favour of shipping companies taking the detour via South Africa if possible rather than exposing their crews to the risk of further attacks. “Seafarers must not be dragged into a conflict that is not theirs.” They transport goods for many countries and there is no justification for attacks on international merchant ships.

Seamen’s mission offers support to crews

Around 200 ships continue to sail through the region off the coast of Yemen every day. Ristau is calling for the crew of the “Galaxy Leader”, which was abducted by the Huthi militia on 19 November last year, to be released immediately. The Huthi took control of the car freighter almost three months ago, took the crew hostage and used the ship as a tourist destination off the Yemeni coast.

Shipping companies whose ships are under attack or whose seafarers are otherwise affected by the situation can contact the German Seamen’s Mission for support in the next port. Seafarers can also use the Seamen’s Mission’s digital, confidential chat via the DSM.care website.

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Caption: The Houthis themselves filmed the attack on the Japanese car transporter "Galaxy Leader" (© via X)