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Nautilus welcomes expanded agreement for seafarer safety in Red Sea

19 January 2024

Nautilus International has welcomed an expanded agreement to protect seafarers in the red sea.

The warlike operations area committee (WOAC) agreed to expand its existing recommendations to cover vessels with connections to the UK and the US. Previously, the recommendations only covered vessels with links to Israel.

The agreement allows for seafarers on these vessels to be given the opportunity to disembark at an appropriate port prior to transiting through the high-risk area or to receive double pay for each day the ship is in the area.

The revised recommendations apply from today, 19 January 2024.

The committee agreed the recommendations considering the increased threat posed by Houthi rebels who stated that all British and American assets were legitimate targets after the UK and US launched 'targeted strikes' in Yemen to 'protect freedom of navigation'.

Nautilus International head of professional and technical David Appleton said: 'This is a welcome move, and we are pleased agreement was reached between unions, employers, and government.

'Merchant navy seafarers, like all workers, have the right to carry out their jobs in a safe environment. While seafarers often work in high-risk situations, all measures must be taken to protect the lives of these civilians who are vital to securing global supply chains.

'Seafarer safety must take precedence over commercial interests.

'It is now imperative that shipping companies transiting through the high-risk area give seafarers every opportunity to disembark or to ensure they are remunerated in line with the WOAC recommendations.'