21 Pinoys rescued from Houthi-hit ship home today

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
21 Pinoys rescued from Houthi-hit ship home today
Image shows the Greek-owned bulk carrier MV Tutor drifting in the Red Sea after being damaged in an attack by Houthi militants last week. Twenty-one Filipino seafarers were airlifted by helicopters from the USS Philippine Sea and a French air defense frigate. They have been taken to Bahrain for a flight to the Philippines, according to the Department of Migrant Workers.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty-one of 22 Filipino seafarers rescued from a Houthi attack in the Red Sea are expected to arrive this afternoon in Manila, Malacañang said yesterday.

The last of MV Tutor’s Filipino crew is missing and believed to be trapped in the engine room. Search operations are underway.

Houthi rebels attacked the Greek-owned and Liberia-flagged freighter on June 12, the third attack on a ship manned by Filipino seafarers since last year.

The Houthis have used drones and missiles to assault ships in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden since November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war.

President Marcos on June 14 ordered concerned government agencies to bring the seafarers to safety.

Combined international forces rescued the crew Friday night and the US Navy brought them to Bahrain, according to the Department of Migrant Workers.

Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Anne Jalando-on Louis received the rescued seafarers on June 15, the Presidential Communications Office said, citing the DMW.

They arrived at the Port of Manama, Bahrain at around 5:30 p.m., Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac has said.

DMW labor attaché Hector Cruz is expected to accompany the rescued workers on the flight home.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Arnell Ignacio has coordinated with the local manning agency to ensure financial aid and other assistance to the rescued seafarers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has condemned the incident and urged UN member states to protect seafarers’ rights.

A US-led airstrike campaign targeted the Houthis since January, with a series of strikes last May 30, killing at least 16 people and wounding 42 others. — Mayen Jaymalin

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