Ship takes on water after being attacked twice in Red Sea

Houthis yet to comment after Greek-owned Laax carrier was attacked south-west of Yemeni port of Hodeidah

The Laax ship is the latest target to be hit by a Houthi missile. Photo: Vessel Finder
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A ship is taking on water after being hit by three missiles in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, maritime security firm Ambrey said on Tuesday.

The Greek-owned bulk carrier has started listing but is continuing its voyage after being attacked.

The Laax, sailing under the Marshall Islands flag, was hit 85km south-west of the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

The ship issued a distress call, saying it had sustained damage to the cargo hold and was taking on water.

Further damage was reported from a second strike on Tuesday evening, the UK Maritime Trade Operations said.

The extra damage was caused 61km north-west of Al Mocha, Yemen, the report said.

Greek shipping sources said the Laax was sailing to a nearby port to assess the extent of the damage.

The Houthi rebels have yet to comment on the attack.

The Iran-backed group, which controls much of southern and central Yemen, has been attacking international shipping in the Red Sea since November.

The Houthis say they are carrying out the campaign in support of Palestinians and against Israel's war in Gaza.

The US and UK launched waves of air strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen but they appear to have failed to deter the attacks on ships in the Red Sea, one of the world's most important waterways for trade.

On Tuesday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for an end to attacks on civilian ships in the area after he met Yemeni Foreign Minister Shayea Mohsen Al Zindani in Beijing.

Mr Wang said China was ready to continue to play a constructive role in the matter, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations also said on Tuesday that it had received a report of an incident about 57km south-west of Hodeidah.

The ship was hit by missiles and sustained damage, reporting an impact in the water close to the vessel, UKMTO said.

The crew were reported to be safe and the vessel was proceeding to its next port of call.

Most of the attacks launched by the Houthis have failed to sink their targets, with many being repelled by US-led maritime forces stationed in the region.

But the freighter MV Rubymar sank in March, after being struck by two Houthi-launched missiles the previous month.

The ship’s cargo of fertiliser is feared to have disastrous ecological consequences in the Red Sea, which is home to a delicate marine ecosystem.

Updated: May 29, 2024, 7:49 AM