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2 Pinoy seafarers in ship hijacking incident in Gulf of Aden now safe, DMW says

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Monday confirmed that two Filipino seafarers who were on board a hijacked ship in the Gulf of Aden are now safe.

The DMW was referring to the hijacking of chemical tanker Central Park in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Africa on Sunday.

“The DMW had checked its records and coordinated with the licensed manning agency (LMA), and ascertained that there are at least two Filipino seafarers listed in the ship's crew,” the DMW said.

“The DMW welcomes a report from the United States Naval Institute (USNI) that at least two Filipino seafarers on board a hijacking incident in the Gulf of Aden are now safe and accounted for,” the DMW added.

The USNI earlier reported that American Naval Forces fended off the hijacking attempt and rendered both the ship and crew safe and free.

“The DMW has reached out to the vessel's manning and shipping agencies to provide the department with a full report of the incident,” the DMW said.

“The DMW has also started reaching out to family and relatives of the crew's Filipino seafarers,” it added.

Likewise, the department said that it has already reached out to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as well as its partners in the international maritime and shipping industry to ensure the safety of Filipino seafarers in the region.

In addition, the DMW had already raised the possibility of declaring certain areas in the Red Sea as high-risk zones for Filipino seafarers, and had coordinated with employers and seafarers' groups in the maritime sector.

This is the second hijacking incident in as many weeks involving marine vessels with Filipino seafarers in their crew.

Last week, Houthi rebels from Yemen seized a cargo ship in the southern Red Sea. Seventeen Filipino seafarers were among the foreigners held hostage, the DFA said.

The Philippines is coordinating with foreign governments to secure the release of the 17 Filipino seafarers, DMW officer-in-charge Hans Cacdac said on Monday. —KG, GMA Integrated News