On Monday, February 19, the global maritime community reflects on the somber three-month milestone since the car carrier Galaxy Leader fell victim to hijacking in the Red Sea. A coalition of 29 industry organizations has united to amplify the call for the release of the 25 seafarers currently held captive onboard.

The joint statement issued by industry representative bodies portrays the Galaxy Leader crew as "innocent victims of the ongoing aggression against world shipping." The urgency of the situation is emphasized, urging international organizations and states to collaborate and exhaust all efforts to secure the immediate release of the seafarers.

The statement further condemns the circumstances surrounding the hijacking, denouncing the prolonged separation of seafarers from their families as "abhorrent." It unequivocally demands the prompt release of all 25 crew members of the Galaxy Leader.

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The hijacking of the Galaxy Leader, owned by Ray Car Carriers Ltd and chartered by NYK, on November 19, 2023, by Houthi rebels, sent shockwaves through the shipping industry. The rebels justified their actions by claiming the vessel's Israeli link, in retaliation for the Israeli conflict against Hamas in Gaza. The Houthi rebels have vowed to continue targeting vessels with Israeli connections as long as the Gaza conflict persists.