Remains of 2 Filipino seafarers yet to be recovered

Remains of 2 Filipino seafarers yet to be recovered; House calls for probe

Houthi missile attack in the Red Sea

RED SEA TARGET An aerial view of the Barbados-flagged ship True Confidence ablaze following a Houthi missile attack in the Red Sea on March 6, 2024. The commercial vessel had 15 Filipinos among its crewmen. —REUTERS

The remains of the two Filipino seafarers who died in the recent attack by Houthi rebels on ships plying the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are still inside the carrier vessel and have yet to be recovered, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said on Friday.

The missile fired by the Iran-aligned Yemeni group hit the fuel section of the ship causing a big fire in the area where the two Filipino crew members were, DMW officer in charge Hans Leo Cacdac said in an interview with Radyo 630.


READ: 2 Filipino sailors killed in Houthi missile attack


“There was an emergency evacuation because the fire was so big, that’s why they didn’t come back for the bodies,” he said.

Recovery work up soon

He added they were expecting “salvage operations” will soon begin and part of it will be the search for the remains of the crew members.

On Thursday, the DMW reported there were three other Filipinos who were severely injured. They are now in medical care and already in stable condition at a hospital in Djibouti City.

The DMW also reported the 10 other crew members of the cargo vessel “M/V True Confidence” were safe and accounted for.

“An Indian Navy vessel, part of the international task force patrolling the volatile Red Sea-Gulf of Aden sea lanes, rescued the crew and brought them to Djibouti,” the DMW said.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, will deploy a team to Djibouti to provide all necessary assistance for the Filipino seafarers.


“The Philippine government was greatly distressed and deeply concerned when it learned of the act that claimed the lives of two innocent Filipinos,” the DFA said.

Probe, assistance

French Ambassador to Manila Marie Fontanel, meanwhile, expressed condolences to the Philippines for the tragic incident that resulted in the death of the two Filipino seafarers as it condemned the lethal attack by the Houthis on the commercial vessel.

“Houthi attacks on international maritime traffic reached a new level. They must cease,” she said.

The attack prompted House lawmakers on Friday to call for a deeper investigation of the attack.

Led by Speaker Martin Romualdez, the lower chamber also called on the DMW, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the DFA to ensure assistance for their families, and for the international community led by the United Nations Security Council to take stronger action to prevent such attacks.

“We call for a comprehensive investigation into this heinous attack and urge the international community to condemn these cowardly acts of violence,” Romualdez said.

“The safety and security of Filipino seafarers must remain a top priority,” he added.

READ: DOTr working double time to keep PH seafarers’ int’l certifications

Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo said, “We appeal to the United Nations, world powers, and other international organizations to take prompt measures to deter any recurrence of such attacks.”

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Bohol Rep. Kristine Tutor, the lead author of the Magna Carta for Filipino seafarers bill, also urged the DFA to appeal to the country’s allies in the Middle East to ensure freedom of navigation and safety of all ships that pass through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

TAGS: Filipino seafarers, Houthi Rebels

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