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UKMTO map showing the location of today's missile attack on a ship. Photo: UKTMO

UKMTO map showing the location of today's missile attack on a ship. Photo: UKTMO

Eagle Bulk Ship Hit by Missile in Gulf of Aden

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 16862
January 15, 2024

A ship belonging to US-based Eagle Bulk Shipping (NYSE: EGLE) has been hit by a missile in the Gulf of Aden.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) office said a Master reported a missile hit the ship’s port side from above approximately 95 nautical miles south east of Aden, Yemen.

The U.S. Central Command has confirmed details of the incident, reporting that the M/V Gibraltar Eagle was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. The ship has reported no injuries or significant damage and is continuing its voyage.

The M/V Gibraltar Eagle is a Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier owned by an entity of Eagle Bulk Shipping (USA) LLC, based in Stamford, Connecticut. The incident follows an earlier failed missile launch by the Houthis.

“Earlier in the day, at approximately 2 p.m. (Sanaa time), U.S. Forces detected an anti-ship ballistic missile fired toward the Southern Red Sea commercial shipping lanes. The missile failed in flight and impacted on land in Yemen. There were no injuries or damage reported,” the U.S. Central Command said.

In a statement, Eagle Bulk Shipping said the Gibraltar Eagle was hit by an “unidentified projectile.”

“As a result of the impact, the vessel suffered limited damage to a cargo hold but is stable and is heading out of the area,” Eagle Bulk said. “All seafarers onboard the vessel are confirmed to be uninjured. The vessel is carrying a cargo of steel products.”

The Houthi group on Monday claimed an “accurate and direct” hit on an “American ship” and declared all American and British ships and warships as “hostile targets.”

This latest incident is near where another vessel reported a missile landing in the water nearby after being followed by three small boats on Friday, January 12. On that same day, another vessel reported seeing small boats in the same area.

UK-based security firm EOS Risk Group said that the arrival of the Iranian spy ship M/V Behshad in the Gulf of Aden on January 12 heightens the risk of attacks in the area. “MV BEHSHAD is likely providing targeting data to the Houthis ashore in Yemen,” the group said in a post to “X”.

On Sunday, a U.S. fighter jet shot down an anti-ship cruise missile near Hudaydah, Yemen that was fired from Yemen towards the USS Laboon (DDG 58) in the Southern Red Sea.

Today’s missile attack is the 29th attack on shipping by the Iranian-backed Houthis since November in support of Palestinians in Gaza. The group says the attacks are only against Israeli-linked ships and not international shipping. The incident also marks a rare successful missile strike since the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian in mid-December. The last reported successful strike took place on December 30 against the M/V Maersk Gibraltar, causing no significant damage.

Today’s attack comes after military strikes by the U.S. and UK on multiple targets in Yemen last Thursday. The U.S. launched a follow-on strike on Friday against a Houthi radar site in Yemen.

The Houthis have vowed retaliation for the attacks.

Eagle Bulk Shipping is one of the world’s largest owner-operators in the midsize dry bulk vessel segment.

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