Incident Alert – Vessels Attacked by Multiple Weapon Systems in the Southern Red Sea

Incident Alert  – Vessels Attacked by Multiple Weapon Systems in the Southern Red Sea   

Date: 09 January 2024 – 1830 UTC Position: Lat 14° 47′ N 42° 05′ E 

Location: Red Sea, 50nm West of  Hodiedah, Yemen


Incident Details

The UKMTO released Warning 005/JAN/2024 after receiving reports of an incident approximately 50nm West of Hodiedah. The report warned of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) activity. Later reports indicated a commercial vessel had been attacked by at least 3 small craft which had fired missiles at the vessel.


The US CENTCOM stated on 09 Jan 24, that the Houthis had launched a complex attack using Iranian-designed one-way aerial drones, anti-ship cruise missiles and a anti-ship ballistic missile towards international shipping lanes where several commercial ships were transiting. This included 18 aerial drones, 2 anti-ship cruise missiles and 1 anti-ship ballistic missile that were shot down by a combined effort of F18 Hornet aircraft and counter-missile defence systems fired from USS GRAVELY, USS LABOON, USS MASON and HMS DIAMOND which form part of the US led Operation PROSPERITY GUARDIAN. Three commercial vessels were observed taking evasive action on AIS but it remains unclear whether the warships or the commercial ships were the intended target.


This incident is the most significant in the recent spate of Houthi attacks against commercial shipping and indicates the Houthi possess a day/night attack capability, however, the success of naval and air assets in taking out these weapons is also significant. Vessels transiting the area are advised to take mitigation measures and proceed with caution.