July 21, 2024

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UK-owned ship hit by rocket fire in Red Sea: Report

UK-owned ship hit by rocket fire in Red Sea: Report

A UK-owned ship passing through the Red Sea was hit by missiles, a UK-based maritime security group said on Sunday, while another agency reported possible drone activity in the area.

The unnamed, Bahamian-flagged ship was “hit by a missile” while sailing south about 35 nautical miles off the western coast of Yemen, maritime security company Ambrey said, citing reports.

“The damaged vessel was issuing distress calls related to a piracy/missile attack,” the UK-based company added.

She pointed to reports that “an international naval force in the vicinity of the incident” was likely heading to the ship’s location.

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The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency, run by the British Royal Navy, said it had received “a report of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) activity including a possible explosion… originating from the direction of Yemen.”

Ships in the area were advised to “exercise caution.”

The incident comes amid rising tensions in the Red Sea and surrounding waters after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized an Israel-linked cargo ship, the Galaxy Leader, last month.

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Within days, two ballistic missiles were launched from an area controlled by Houthi rebels in Yemen, landing about 10 nautical miles from the USS Mason, according to the Pentagon.

The Houthis have launched a series of drone and missile attacks targeting Israel since Hamas fighters poured across the border into Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and kidnapping about 240.

The spike in maritime incidents prompted G7 foreign ministers at a meeting earlier this week to urge the rebels to stop threats to international shipping and release the Galaxy Leader.

In the latest apparent attack, Embry said the target ship – en route from the United States to Singapore – had transited the Suez Canal five days earlier.

She added, “The ship was hit by a missile and the crew withdrew to the castle.”

“Several ships passed the accident site today but no unusual maneuvers were observed.”

Ambrey said the ownership and management of the ship that was attacked was linked to Dan David Ungar, a British citizen listed as an Israeli resident in Britain’s main business directory.