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'Seafarers Did Not Sign Up to Be Shot At'

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 19, 2024

© Igor Kardasov / Adobe Stock

© Igor Kardasov / Adobe Stock

In response to the escalating attacks on ships in the Red Sea, charity group Sailors' Society has initiated an urgent crisis appeal, shedding light on the severe human cost faced by seafarers caught in the conflict.

Attacks by Yemen's Houthi militia on ships in the region since November have slowed trade between Asia and Europe, leading to widely reported supply chain disruptions and financial implications of rerouting ships.

Sailors' Society said its appeal aims to draws attention to the danger posed to sailors by explosive drones and missiles. Seafarers, responsible for transporting over 90% of global goods, find themselves in a perilous situation, prompting shipping companies to turn to Sailors' Society's Crisis Response Network for essential mental health and wellbeing support.

"Seafarers did not sign up to be shot at," said Sailors' Society CEO Sara Baade. "Any seafarer approaching the Red Sea today is going to be extremely anxious."

Baade noted that rerouting around the Horn of Africa presents its own challenges, including the impact of a tropical cyclone in Mauritius and the looming threat of piracy in regions like Somalia and the Gulf of Guinea. "At the very least they will be delayed returning home to loved ones who they have already been separated from for many months," she said.

Baade said the charity's 24/7 Crisis Response Network stands ready to assist seafarers in preparing for these challenging situations, providing support to concerned families, and addressing any longer-lasting effects of trauma. The appeal aims to mobilize resources urgently needed to extend a helping hand to those risking their lives at sea and to alleviate the emotional toll on their wellbeing.

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