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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bulk Carrier Hit by Missile Off Yemen, Sailors Missing or Wounded

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 6, 2024

© Eugene / Adobe Stock

© Eugene / Adobe Stock

The Greek-owned cargo ship True Confidence was hit by a missile about 50 nautical miles southwest of the Yemeni port of Aden on Wednesday in an attack presumed to come from Houthi forces, the ship's owner and operator said.

The bulk carrier was drifting with a fire continuing onboard, their statement said, adding that no information was available on the status of 20 crew members and three armed guards onboard.

But a shipping source said three sailors were missing from the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier and four others were badly burned.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Houthi militants in Yemen have repeatedly launched drones and missiles against international commercial shipping since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians to oppose Israel's military actions in Gaza.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said earlier that it had received a report of an incident 54 nautical miles southwest of Aden, which lies near the entrance to the Red Sea.

The shipping source, who declined to be identified, said the vessel appeared to have been abandoned.

A U.S. defence official said smoke was seen coming from the True Confidence. The official, who also declined to be named, told Reuters a lifeboat had also been seen in the water near the ship.

The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

The True Confidence is owned by the Liberian-registered company True Confidence Shipping and operated by the Greece-based Third January Maritime, both firms said in their joint statement.

They said the ship had no link to the United States.

(Reuters - Reporting by Jonathan Saul; Writing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Kevin Liffey)