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Home Tourist Attraction Groups of men seen taking tours of the Galaxy Leader after Iran-back Houthi rebels sieged the vessel in the Red Sea

Groups of men seen taking tours of the Galaxy Leader after Iran-back Houthi rebels sieged the vessel in the Red Sea

by Staff

Groups of men have been spotted taking selfies and touring the Israeli-linked cargo ship that has been hijacked by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen.

Rebels clambered aboard the Galaxy Leader commercial ship in the Red Sea last month with the ship now appearing to have become some-what of a tourist attraction.

Images appear to show people exploring the huge vessel, taking photos of the ocean view from the deck and holding up a Yemen’s flag while smiling into the camera. 

Some were pictured clambering up the ships ladders while other Yemenis armed with rifles walked around the vessel.

One part of the ship appears to have been graffitied with a slogan expressing support for Hamas in Gaza, the BBC reported.

Photographs taken from on board the Bahamas flagged car carrier showed large groups of people coming and going from the ship by motor boat. 

People wait for boats to take them to the Galaxy Leader cargo ship that has been seized by Houthis
A boat carries people to and from the Galaxy Leader cargo ship so they can carry out tours of the seized vessel
Rebels clambered aboard the Galaxy Leader commercial ship in the Red Sea on November 19

Following the siege, the vessel was taken to the port of Hodeidah in the Houthi controlled north of Yemen. 

READ HERE: British-owned ship ‘struck by rocket near Yemen’ – after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized Israeli cargo vessel amid spiralling tensions over Gaza

It came after Houthi militia members had threatened to target Israeli ships over its war with Gaza.  

The crew, who remain stuck on board the ship, have been allowed ‘modest contact’ with their families with their families, the vessel’s owner said this week. 

The staff on board the ship, chartered by Japan‘s Nippon Yusen, are from a number of different countries including  Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Mexico and Romania, Galaxy Maritime said. 

‘The safety and welfare of the crew members remains the priority of both owners and managers and the modest contact that has been allowed with crew members and their families suggests that the seafarers are being treated as well as can be expected in the circumstances,’ Isle of Man registered owner Galaxy Maritime Ltd, said in a statement on Monday.

‘The 25 crew members being held have no connection whatsoever with the current situation in the region,’ the owner said. ‘Nothing can be achieved by their further detention.’

A man watches from the deck of the Galaxy Leader as groups of tourists are taken to and from the boat
An armed person tours the deck of the Galaxy Leader offshore of the Al-Salif port in the Red Sea
A Houthi fighter keeps watch on the deck of the Galaxy Leader cargo ship

The United States has blamed the Houthis for a series of attacks in Middle Eastern waters since war broke out between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7.  On Sunday, three more vessels were attacked in the Red Sea.

At an assembly session on Monday of the UN shipping agency’s highest governing body, the United States, the Bahamas and Japan called for the unconditional release of the Galaxy Leader and its crew.

Japan’s delegation told the International Maritime Organization assembly that it ‘strongly condemns those acts which threaten the safety and freedom of navigation in that area’.

The Bahamas said the various attacks including the Galaxy Leader were a ‘violation of all of the norms relating to innocent passage of ships’.

‘Here we have non-state actors so who do you hold responsible?’ the Bahamas said, referring to the Houthis. 

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