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BREAKING: Houthi assault on MV True Confidence marks first civilian casualties in Red Sea crisis

Three crew members lost their lives, and three out of four additional individuals sustained critical injuries in a missile attack on the MV True Confidence, carried out by Houthi rebels on March 6 at 11:30 am Atlantic Standard Time, southwest of Aden, Yemen.

The vessel, a Barbados-flagged bulk carrier operated by Third January Maritime and owned by True Confidence Shipping, fell victim to the targeted rebel attack. The assailants, posing as the Yemeni Navy, made contact with the vessel over radio before launching the strike, causing significant damage and forcing crew members to evacuate as a fire engulfed the pilothouse.

This incident highlights the dangers faced by merchant shipping in the volatile Red Sea region amid escalating tensions. Swift response efforts, including the deployment of the USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and an Indian Navy destroyer for rescue operations, underscore the international community’s commitment to addressing such threats.

At the time of the assault, the MV True Confidence was en route from Lianyungang, China to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, carrying steel products and trucks. Despite claims by the Houthis that the vessel was American-owned, the ship’s owners vehemently denied any affiliation with American entities. True Confidence Shipping, registered in Liberia, and Third January Maritime, based in Greece, clarified their lack of connection to the United States.

Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Secretary General of the IMO, expressed condolences to the bereaved families and urged a swift recovery for the injured. He emphasized that seafarers should not be collateral victims of geopolitical conflicts and called for collective action to protect them. His recorded statement is available for reference:

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