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Filipino crew members of tanker seized off Yemen safe

Filipino crew members of tanker seized off Yemen safe
November 27, 2023 |

MANILA, Philippines — The crew members of a tanker that was seized off Yemen, which include two Filipino seafarers, are now safe, according to media reports.

Agence France-Presse reported that armed assailants seized M/V Central Park, a tanker owned by a United Kingdom-based, Israel-linked company, in the Gulf of Aden Sunday.

It said that the United States Navy and coalition forces responded to the emergency aboard the tanker and that the crew members of the M/V Central Park are “currently safe.”

According to owner Zodiac Maritime, among the 22 crew were Filipino, Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian and Georgian nationals as well as a Turkish captain.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels had previously threatened to attack the tanker if it did not divert to the port of Hodeidah in Yemen.

The incident comes nearly a week after Houthi rebels seized Galaxy Leader, an Israeli-linked cargo ship, in the Red Sea and held hostage its 25 international crew members, including 17 Filipinos. The group said the move was in retaliation for Israel’s war against Palestinian militant group Hamas.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier assured that the government was taking every measure to ensure the safety of the 17 seafarers.

Filipino mariners comprise more than 25% of 1.5 million sea-based workers worldwide, the highest number from any country, according to the government. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with report from Agence France-Presse