Join our crew and become one of the 105,829 members that receive our newsletter.

USS Carney underway at night in the suez canal

The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) transits the Suez Canal, Nov. 26. Carney is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region. (U.S. Navy photo by Aaron Lau)

USS Carney Shoots Down Another 14 Houthi Drones

Total Views: 4483
December 16, 2023

By Brendan Murray and Charles Capel (Bloomberg) The US Navy said it shot down 14 drones in the Red Sea launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen as attacks on commercial carriers continue from the Iranian-backed group, threatening havoc for world trade. 

Major shippers MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA and CMA CGM were the latest to announce on Saturday that they won’t send their vessels through the Red Sea for now in the face of rising threats. 

The unmanned aerial systems “were assessed to be one-way attack drones and were shot down with no damage to ships in the area or reported injuries,” US Central Command said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Regional Red Sea partners were alerted to the threat.” 

The drones were struck down by the USS Carney guided missile destroyer early on Saturday. The UK navy also repelled a suspected drone attack. 

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA, the world’s largest container line, joined competitors in diverting ships away from the Red Sea. 

The MSC Palatium III was attacked on Friday in the Red Sea, the company said in a statement on its website, confirming earlier reports. There were no injuries among the crew of the container ship, though there was “limited fire damage” and the vessel has been taken out of service.

“Due to this incident and to protect the lives and safety of our seafarers, until the Red Sea passage is safe, MSC ships will not transit the Suez Canal eastbound and westbound,” the company said in its statement.

“Some services will be rerouted to go via the Cape of Good Hope instead,” it said, referring to the southern tip of Africa.  

Separately, the French group CMA CGM instructed its container ships scheduled to pass through the Red Sea to pause their journey in safe waters until further notice.

UK naval forces shot down a suspected attack drone that was targeting merchant ships in the Red Sea, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in a post on X on Saturday. The HMS Diamond used a Sea Viper missile to down the target, he said, without giving more details.

Flexport Inc., a freight forwarding platform based in San Francisco, said in a blog post that taking the route around Africa prolongs the journey by seven to 10 days compared with using the Suez Canal. 

Rebels in Yemen escalated a threat against ships with ties to Israel in November, calling them “legitimate targets,” and appear to be targeting vessels in the vicinity more generally. 

Rerouting the world’s container fleet around the conflict zone during Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza threatens to increase freight rates and cause delays rippling across global supply chains.

About 5% of global trade depends on the Panama Canal and 12% depends on Suez, according to Marco Forgione, director general at the Institute of Export & International Trade. 

By Brendan Murray and Charles Capel © 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 105,829 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

Join Our Crew

Join the 105,829 members that receive our newsletter.