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An abandoned ship in the Red Sea faces an uncertain fate

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An abandoned ship in the Red Sea faces an uncertain fate

Cargo ship abandoned in Gulf of Aden after Houthi attack continues to float
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A cargo ship abandoned four days ago in the Gulf of Aden after being hit by missiles fired by the Yemeni Houthis continues to float despite the fact that water is entering it, and could be towed to nearby Djibouti, sources in the sector reported on Wednesday.

Shipping risks have increased since November due to repeated drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait by the Iran-aligned Houthis. US and British forces have responded with several attacks on Houthi facilities but have so far failed to stop the attacks.

The crew of the Belizean-flagged Rubymar abandoned ship after being hit on Sunday and were rescued by another commercial vessel.

The ship was taking on water, and its operators were exploring options, the ship’s maritime safety company, LSS-SAPU, told Reuters on Monday. The UK-registered company and the ship’s Lebanon-based manager could not be reached for further information on Wednesday.

A maritime advisory warned ships in the area to avoid the abandoned vessel.

A US defense official said Tuesday that the ship had not sunk.

Two maritime and insurance sources said towing the ship to Djibouti appeared to be the best option.

“Djibouti is the only immediate option where any repair or recovery would be feasible,” one of the sources said. “It is too risky for a boat in those conditions to be towed too far or into more open waters.”

Insurer sources said they could not determine who had insured the vessel, which was apparently not covered by the London marine insurance market.

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The Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority said on February 19 in a statement on who were taken to the Djibouti area by the rescue ship.

“The ship has on board 21,999 metric tons of very dangerous IMDG class 5.1 fertilizer,” stated the Authority, adding that the ship’s AIS transponder was turned off, and its coordinates were unknown.

Despite Western retaliatory attacks in Yemen, the Houthis have vowed to continue attacking ships they say are linked to Israel. (EFE/EPA/Yahya Arhab)

(With information from Reuters)

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