A mock missile is carried by university students during a rally to show support for the recent Houthi strikes on ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, in Sanaa, Yemen January 31, 2024.

Fire Caused By Blasts Breaks Out On Ship Southeast Of Aden

Monday, 03/04/2024

A fire caused by nearby explosions broke out onboard a vessel southeast of the Yemeni port city of Aden on Monday, before being contained, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency and British security firm Ambrey reported.

"The Master reports the fire onboard has been extinguished and that the crew are all safe. Coalition Forces are responding," UKMTO said in a recent update on the incident.

It later added that the vessel was clear of the area and was proceeding to its next port of call.

A first explosion was reported at a distance off the vessel's port quarter and a second explosion caused damage to the vessel, leading to a fire which the crew are dealing with, the British maritime agencies said.

No casualties were reported.

"Coalition Forces operating in the area are investigating," UKMTO said.

The US has formed an international coalition aimed at safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea region from attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militants. The Houthis say they are carrying out the attacks in solidarity with Palestinians in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Ambrey had reported that a container ship was struck and had issued a distress signal, saying the ship was Liberia-flagged and Israel-affiliated, and en route from Singapore to Djibouti. Neither agency disclosed the vessel's name.

"The vessel was listed as operated by the Israeli company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. This may have been an out-of-date affiliation, as the vessel was not listed on other public sources," Ambrey added.

Israeli shipper ZIM told Reuters it had no connection with the ship.

The container ship continued to transmit an AIS signal after the incident, Ambrey said.

The Rubymar cargo ship sank on Friday, becoming the first vessel lost since the Houthis began their attacks in November.

(Report by Reuters)

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