TWO vessels diverted their course in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden after the cargo ship Galaxy Leader (IMO 9237307) was hijacked by Yemen’s Houthis.

The Houthis – a militia with connections to Iran – seized the Bahamian-flagged Galaxy Leader as it was sailing from Türkiye to India.

British maritime security company Ambrey, cited by Reuters, said two ships commercially managed by a maritime company connected to Galaxy Leader diverted their sailing routes on Sunday.

Two other ships also listed as commercially managed by the company – listed as a subsidiary of another company domiciled in Israel – are Glovis Star and Hermes Leader.

“All company security officers are advised to check whether their vessels were affiliated with Israel through flag, ownership, or management in the past two years,” Ambrey wrote in a social media post.

“Those who are either affiliated now, or who were affiliated recently, are advised to conduct a transit risk assessment and to consider ballistic protection measures.”

Japan’s NYK Line in a statement dated 20 November said it had been informed by UK-based Galaxy Maritime that the NYK-chartered Galaxy Leader had been seized near Hodeida, Yemen.

NYK said there was no cargo was on the vessel at the time.

“NYK organised a crisis management centre at its head office to gather information and manage this incident,” it said.

“As the vessel’s charterer, we are prioritising the safety of the 25 crew members.”

The crewmembers are from the Philippines, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania and Mexico.

The Houthis have released video footage of armed men rappelling from a helicopter and seizing Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea.

Nautilus International, a maritime union based in the UK, called for the release of the crew.

“We are saddened to note that maritime professionals are yet again suffering the consequences of geopolitical instability whilst simply attempting to do their job,” the union said.

“We echo the calls from the UK government for the immediate and unconditional release of the vessel and crew.”

A spokesperson from the Japanese government, cited by Reuters, said Japan was appealing to the Houthis to and seeking the help of Saudi, Omani and Iranian authorities to work toward the swift release of the vessel and its crew.