Vessel in Red Sea Sustains Slight Damage after Being Struck, UKMTO Says

A Union Jack flag, September 20, 2023.
REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

CAIRO (Reuters) – A vessel in the Red Sea was struck by an unknown object and substained slight damage, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said early on Saturday.

“The vessel and crew are safe and continuing to its next port of call,” it said in an advisory note, adding that the incident occurred 76 nautical miles northwest of Yemen’s Hodeidah.

No further details were immediately available.

The Houthi militia that controls the most populous parts of Yemen and is aligned with Iran has staged attacks on ships in the waters off the country for months in solidarity with Palestinians fighting Israel in Gaza.

The Houthi militants have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden since November.

That has forced shippers to re-route cargo on longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa and stoked fears the Israel-Hamas war could spread and destabilize the Middle East.