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Crew of Houthi-hijacked Galaxy Leader allowed ‘modest contact’ with families says vessel’s registered owner

Iran-based Houthi movement targeted vessel because it was beneficially owned by Israelis, initiating a campaign of attacks on commercial shipping transiting international waters in the Red Sea

Public relations company issues second statement on behalf of registered owner and shipmanger since car carrier was hijacked on November 19

THE registered owner and shipmanager of Houthi-hijacked car carrier Galaxy Leader (IMO: 9237307) said the companies “applauded” actions by Filipino maritime authorities and other maritime administrations to secure the release of 25 crew held hostage.

Registered owner Galaxy Maritime and the vessel’s technical and crew manager Stamco Ship Management said in a statement issued by a public relations company that “modest contact” had been allowed between crew and their families.

That suggested “that the seafarers are being treated as well as can be expected in the circumstances” the statement said.

The crew were taken to the Yemeni port of Hodeidah after the car carrier was hijacked by Houthis on November 19, as the vessel transited the Red Sea in ballast. It was the start of a concerted attack on commercial shipping by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi movement, that saw three vessels targeted by drones over the weekend.

Shipping databases show Galaxy Leader’s registered owner as single-ship Isle of Man-incorporated Galaxy Maritime with Piraeus-based Stamco Ship Management as the ISM manager. The commercial operator is Ray Car Carriers, which is beneficially owned by Israel’s Ray Shipping, owned by Avraham and Yael Unger, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence

The vessel was chartered by NYK Line.

This is the second statement issued by the public relations company on behalf of Galaxy Leader since it was seized.

“The 25 crew members being held have no connection whatsoever with the current situation in the region and owners and managers encourage all those nations with citizens being held by the Houthis to re double their efforts, alongside owners and managers, to secure their release and immediate return to their loved ones,” the statement said.

“Nothing can be achieved by their further detention.”

There are 17 Filipino crew, two Bulgarians, three Ukrainian, one Romanian and two Mexican citizens hostage, according to the statement.


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