All crew members safe in seized vessel

By Staff Reporter

Crew members, including two Keralites, on board a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-flagged cargo ship seized by Yemeni Houthi fighters on January 2 are safe, relatives have been informed.

Deck cadet Akhil Raghu (26) of Cheppad in Alappuzha and another Malayali who has not yet been identified is among four Indians on board the vessel Rawabi when it was seized while sailing near the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.

On Saturday, at least two Indian crew members of the ship contacted their families reportedly from the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

“We are yet to receive a phone call or establish contact with Akhil. But two of his colleagues have contacted their families in India and told the entire crew are safe and in good health. The Indian crew will be released once the Indian Embassy in the UAE confirms their citizenship and the same is conveyed to our embassy in Yemen,” said Rahul Raghu, Akhil’s brother. Rahul is also working in the same shipping company in the UAE, which employs Akhil.

Families have sought the Centre's help to bring back the Indian crew of the ship.

According to media reports, Houthi fighters seized the vessel claiming it carried military supplies. But a statement released by the Saudi-led coalition, which is fighting the rebels, noted the ship carried medical equipment from a dismantled Saudi field hospital on the island of Socotra.


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