Ship abandoned following attack off Yemen

UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reports that a vessel was abandoned by its crew after it suffered damage in an attack of unknown origin 35 nautical miles south of Al Muka, Yemen on Sunday, February 18.

The UKMTO said that the vessel’s master reported an explosion that occurred “in close proximity” and resulted in damage. However, the extent of the damage was not disclosed.

Subsequent alerts indicated that the crew have abandoned the vessel but are otherwise safe. Military authorities have also arrived on-scene to render assistance.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia has claimed responsibility for the attack on the vessel, which the rebel group identified as the Belize-registered bulk carrier Rubymar.

A spokesman for the Houthis said the vessel is at risk of sinking due to extensive damage suffered in the attack.

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