Industry mourns seafarers killed in missile attack on bulker True Confidence

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Owners and manager of the 2011-built bulk carrier ‘True Confidence’ have confirmed that the vessel was hit by a missile, assumed to be launched by Houthi militants in Yemen. The attack occurred at approximately 0930 UTC on Wednesday 6 March, when the 50,448-dwt vessel was approximately 50 nautical miles SW of Aden, Yemen. Posn. 11 58N x 044 31E.

The Barbados flagged vessel was manned by a crew of 20, comprising one Indian, four Vietnamese and 15 Filipino nationals. Three armed guards were also on board: two Sri Lankan and one Nepalese national.

It is with great sadness that owners and managers report that as a result of the missile attack, one Vietnamese and two Filipino crew members have lost their lives. A further two Filipinos crew members have suffered serious injuries. All crew members were taken to Djibouti by the Indian warship arriving 2000 hrs local time on March 6. The injured have been transferred to a local hospital.

Owners and Managers offer their heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families of those who have lost their loved ones in this tragic attack and wish for a speedy and full recovery of those who are in hospital.

True Confidence was on passage from China to Jeddah and Aqaba with a cargo of steel products and trucks. The vessel is owned by True Confidence Shipping SA and operated by Third January Maritime Ltd of Piraeus, Greece. There is no current connection with any US entity. The vessel is drifting well away from land and salvage arrangements are being made.

IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez (pictured) issued a statement saying: “It is deeply saddening to follow the horrific reports of the casualties on the merchant vessel True Confidence, following an attack on the ship southwest of Aden, in Yemen.

“I extend my deepest condolences and those of the entire IMO family to the families of those who have lost their lives, and our thoughts are with those who have been injured. Innocent seafarers should never become collateral victims.

“I want to thank the efforts of all ships in the area in assisting the vessel and particularly its crew. We all need to do more to protect seafarers.

“I once again call for collective action to fortify the safety of those who serve at sea. International trade depends on international shipping and international shipping cannot go on without seafarers.”

A joint industry statement issued by BIMCO, CLIA, ECSA, ICS, IMCA, INTERCARGO, InterManager, INTERTANKO, OCIMF and WSC read:

“Industry Associations express their deep concern over the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered by the crew of MV True Confidence in an attack in the Red Sea on 6 March 2024. The loss of life and injuries to civilian seafarers is completely unacceptable. Merchant vessels crewed by civilian seafarers transporting global trade have a right to innocent passage through the region without the threat of attack.

“The frequency of attacks on merchant shipping highlights the urgent need for all stakeholders to take decisive action to safeguard the lives of innocent civilian seafarers and put an end to such threats. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all those affected by this terrible event.”

Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager, added: “It is with great sadness that we learnt about the absolutely unnecessary deaths of our colleagues at sea. Nobody should be required to risk their lives while performing peaceful duties. Shipping is trying to do our best to feed the world but we cannot be expected to do it at such a price.”

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