Recent attempts to strike ocean-going vessels plying the Red Sea, with one ship actually hit this week, has raised eyebrows around the world and caused concerns in Greece, as Greek-controlled merchant shipping is a global power involving thousands of ships and tens of thousands of seafarers from the country.

European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) secretary Sotiris Raptis echoed concerns by European shipowners and seafarers’ unions over the recent spike in attacks in both the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, in comments on Friday.

At least four vessels have been targeted in recent attacks attributed to Houthi rebels in the northern part of Yemen, while shipping multinational Maersk announced that it will change courses for its vessels after its container ship “Maersk Gibraltar” was hit.

The ECSA and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) have called for immediate action to deal with the situation.

“The lives and safety of our seafarers are being put at risk with attacks increasing on a daily basis. Seafarers are the heart of the shipping industry and their ability to perform their duties, without fear for their safety, is essential,” a joint statement by the two organizations read on Friday.

The Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea are a major maritime route, connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans with the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.