FOUR Filipino seafarers, including the ship captain, were injured when a Russian missile hit their ship at Odessa port in southwestern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military and the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers reported Thursday.
According to the southern operational command of the Ukraine’s Armed Forces, a supersonic anti-ship missile Kh-31P hit a civilian Liberian-flagged ship off Black Sea, while about to dock at the Odessa port.
“Three crew members — citizens of the Philippines — are injured, one of them is hospitalized,” the Ukrainian military reported in its official social media and Telegram channel.
It said the harbor pilot died and another port worker was injured. Reports reaching the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Migrant Workers said the fatality is a Ukrainian national.
DMW report: 4 OFWs injured
According to the report of the manning agency of the Filipino seafarers, Sea Workforce Manila, there were four OFWs on board bulk carrier Kmax Ruler. Their identities were withheld but their ranks are captain, able seaman, deck cadet, and electrician.
The missile hit the ship while the crew were at the bridge. Luckily, the missile struck at an area “far enough” where they were positioned.
“Thankfully, they were far enough from the point of impact and suffered non-fatal injuries. They are all out of danger,” Cacdac reported.
The ship’s electrician sustained a fracture on his left hand and is receiving treatment at a local hospital.
Meanwhile, the Filipino captain, able seaman, and deck cadet suffered minor injuries and are receiving treatment on-board.
Cacdac said the DMW has instructed the seafarers’ manning agency and ship owner to provide all the necessary assistance to the injured crew.
“As soon as we received the report of the incident, we instructed their manning agency and ship owner to determine what else can be done for them,” Cacdac explained.
The DMW has also facilitated the communication between the seafarers’ families and their employers to keep them abreast of their condition.
Since the Ukraine-Russia war started in 2021, Filipino seafarers are generally barred from going to the area.
However, according to Bloomberg, all the ports around the Black in and around Odessa port have resumed receiving cargo vessels for grain export despite the Russian-imposed blockade