Houthi attacks on shipping in Red Sea continue

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Global News | 0 comments

A 58,800 dwt Supramax bulker was fired on by Houthis as it transited the Gulf of Aden, some 85 nautical miles southeast of Aden, causing minor damage to the vessel, but there were no crew casualties or injuries according to the latest reports.

Lycavitos operated by Helikon Shipping Enterprises, was damaged by Houthi missiles in the Gulf of Aden in the afternoon, local time on 15 February. VesselsValue AIS tracking shows the Lycavitos has continued its journey and is heading for Suez in Egypt via the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e, the Houthi military spokesman confirmed the attack on both movement’s Telegram and TV channels, saying Lycavitos a UK vessel, had been hit. However, Helikon Shipping Enterprises has offices in London, which manages the vessel according to the Equasis database, but its headquarters are understood to be in Glyfada southern Athens. However, the company was founded in the UK in 1961.

Sare’e said: “We are in the process of taking further military measures in response to the American-British aggression on our country and confirming our practical position to support the Palestinian people.”

Reports citing a Yemeni official said that the ship had sustained damage to a diesel generator pipe, which had caused diesel fuel leak from the pipe.

The UK Marine Trade Organisation (UKMTO) reported that the attack took place 85 nautical miles east of Aden.

Repeated operations to degrade the Houthi’s military capabilities in the region carried out by UK and US forces have not prevented attacks in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea area.

Although, Dryad Global CEO Corey Ranslem said: “The current attack in the Gulf of Aden had minimal damage/effect on the vessel. The crew is safe, and they are continuing on their transit. This attack falls in line with the tactics and capabilities from the Houthis. It does appear that the strikes by the US and UK are having an effect on Houthi capabilities along with the arms seizures. We have seen the number and frequency of the attacks drop substantially over the past couple of weeks. Their targeting capabilities also appear to be declining as well.”

The latest vessel attack comes after US central command, Centcom, posted on X, formerly Twitter, that its forces had intercepted a vessel delivering arms to Yemen on 28 January.

Centcom said a US Coast Guard fast-response vessel, the USCG Clarence Sutphin Jr, boarded the target vessel in the Arabian Sea.

“The boarding team discovered over 200 packages that contained medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle (UUV/USV) components, military-grade communication and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other military components,” said the Centcom statement.

General Michael Erik Kurilla, Centcom Commander added: “Iran’s continued supply of advanced conventional weapons to the Houthis is in direct violation of international law and continues to undermine the safety of international shipping and the and the free flow of commerce.”

Seatrade Maritime News contacted Helikon Shipping for comment, but an employee said the company would not be making any statements at this time.