Missile attack or suicide boat? Claim and counter claim by both sides in Saudi Arabian warship attack in the Red Sea


Members are advised of the UK MTO advisory published yesterday concerning the attack in the Red Sea.

On 30 JAN 2017 at 1220 UTC a Saudi Arabian Warship was attacked in position 14 49.09N 042 21.8E, approximately 30 miles West of Hodeidah, Yemen. Initial indications are that this is an incident related to the ongoing conflict in the region and perpetrated against a military target. It is not clear at this point if this was a small boat borne assault or a missile attack.

The advice to Merchant Shipping given in the wake of the attack on MV Swift in Oct 16 remains extant and in particular the potential risk of collateral damage if ships transit in the vicinity of pro-Yemeni government coalition warships in the SRS/BeM.

Whatever the type of attack BIMCO has suggested for some time that the safest way possible to reduce the risk of collateral damage is to avoid transit in close proximity of coalition warships. This may not always be realistic within the confines of the Bab el Mandeb and the TSS but efforts to do so should be made as long as ship safety and navigation safety are not compromised. What is fairly certain is that this attack is related to the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

BIMCO will continue to advise membership if any further facts and/or guidance becomes available.

Giles Noakes
By Giles Noakes
in Copenhagen, DK


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