ISWAN highlights support available following fatal Red Sea attack

March 08, 2024
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The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has condemned this week’s fatal attack on a Red Sea cargo ship and highlighted the support available for those affected.

On Wednesday, a missile attack by Houthi rebels killed three seafarers on the vessel True Confidence in the Gulf of Aden – the first fatalities since the group started its attacks on merchant vessels.

ISWAN’s International Operations Manager Chirag Bahri said:

‘Targeting innocent seafarers on merchant vessels who are only performing their duties to support their families back home is a deplorable act. The last few months have witnessed a number of incidents in the Red Sea due to the ongoing geopolitical conflict that have put the lives of crew at greater risk. We call upon all international stakeholders to redouble their efforts to safeguard the lives on board and allow them safe and secure passage. Our deepest condolences are with the families of the seafarers killed and we wish those who were injured a swift recovery. ISWAN remains available 24/7 to support anyone who has been affected.’

ISWAN’s free, confidential, multilingual helpline SeafarerHelp is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide emotional support to seafarers and their families of any nationality. All contact details for SeafarerHelp, including live chat, can be found at

Bahri said:

‘We understand that this situation is very disturbing and those who are transiting through these waters could be feeling anxious and worried. Their families at home may also be under increased stress as they are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of their loved ones at sea. We ask shipping companies and crewing agencies to share SeafarerHelp’s contact details with crew members and their families so they can speak to someone if they need to.’

ISWAN's Good Practice Guide for Shipping Companies and Manning Agents also provides guidance on the humanitarian support of seafarers and their families in cases of armed robbery and piracy attacks.

Bahri added:

‘We urge seafarers to be extremely cautious and vigilant while transiting through the Red Sea, and to follow procedures set out by their company and the wider industry.’

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