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Tanker On Fire After Houthi Missile Strike in Gulf of Aden

Tanker On Fire After Houthi Missile Strike in Gulf of Aden

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2529
January 26, 2024

Update: Fire Out on Marlin Luanda

A British-owned tanker has suffered a fire after being hit by a Houthi missile in the Gulf of Aden on Friday.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations office says it received a report that a vessel was struck by a missile and is currently on fire and requiring assistance. The report said the incident took place 60 nautical miles southeast of Yemen, Aden in the Gulf of Aden.

The vessel involved is the Marshall Islands-flagged MT Marlin Luanda, owned by UK-based Oceanix Services and chartered to Trafigura.

Trafigura issued a statement saying the the Marlin Luanda, a petroleum products tanker vessel operated on behalf of the company, was struck by a missile early Friday in the Gulf of Aden after transiting the Red Sea.  “Firefighting equipment on board is being deployed to suppress and control the fire caused in one cargo tank on the starboard side… The safety of the crew is our foremost priority. We remain in contact with the vessel and are monitoring the situation carefully.  Military ships in the region are underway to provide assistance.”

The 2018-built tanker has a carrying capacity of 109,991 deadweight tonnes and is reportedly carrying naphtha, a highly-flammable refined or partially refined petroleum product that is commonly used as an additive in gasoline or jet fuel, that originated in Russia.

A Houthi spokesperson claimed a direct hit on the vessel, causing a fire.

UK-based maritime security Ambrey reported that all crew were reported safe. UKMTO also confirmed the safety of the crew.

Reporting indicates the ship is carrying Russian naphtha from Greece to Singapore.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said the ship was struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile. “The ship issued a distress call and reported damage. USS Carney (DDG 64) and other coalition ships have responded and are rendering assistance. No injuries have been reported at this time,” it said.

CENTCOM later said U.S forces conducted a military strike against a Houthi anti-ship missile aimed into the Red Sea and which was prepared to launch.

Since mid-November, the Iran-backed group has launched nearly three dozen attacks on commercial vessels using a a variety of weapons including anti-ship ballistic missiles, land-attack cruise missiles, uncrewed surface vessels and unmanned surface vehicles. According to Pentagon officials, Houthi attacks have led to more than 14 shipping companies ceasing operations in the Red Sea.

So far, ships have avoided being seriously damaged from the attacks.

Earlier on Friday, the U.S. Central Command said the USS Carney shot down an anti-ship ballistic missile fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward Arleigh-Burke class destroyer in the Gulf of Aden. There were no injuries or damage reported.

In another incident reported Friday, a different commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden, potentially the Panama-flagged Achilles, reported two missiles exploding in the water off its port quarter, with no damage to the ship.

The U.S. and UK have now carried out two joint military strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, for which the Houthis have claimed retaliation over.

The transport of Russian oil and petroleum products is permitted as long as it sold under a price cap imposed by G7 nations, the European Union, and Australia.

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