Incident Alert – Bulk Carrier Struck by Missiles in the Southern Red Sea
|Date: 12 February 2024 0035 UTC
|Position: 12° 45’ N 43° 15’ E
Location: 40nm South of Mocha, Yemen
The UKMTO released Warning 0032 and subsequent updates regarding an incident 35nm South of Mocha, Yemen. The alert stated that the crew of a cargo vessel had abandoned ship and the vessel was at anchor. There are no reports of any casualties. The UKMTO report relates to the bulk carrier RUBYMAR that was struck by a missile in the Bab el Mandeb Strait on 18 February 2024.
The vessel involved in this incident is reported to be the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier STAR IRIS which was on route from Brazil to the port of Bandar Iman Khomeini, Iran. There appears to be some connection to the US through the vessel’s ownership which is likely to be the reason it was attacked. The master later reported that the ship received minor damage to the ship’s superstructure during the attack.
This is the first time a Houthi missile has caused sufficient damage to a vessel to cause it to stop. A Houthi spokesman said the ship was targeted due to its links to the UK. This attack comes after the US military Central Command stated they had carried out strikes against Houthi mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, an explosive-carrying drone boat and an “Unmanned Underwater Vessel (UUV).