Maersk Ship Hit by Missile in the Red Sea

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.31 - 2023 7:43 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Maersk Ship Hit by Missile in the Red Sea.

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The container ship 'Maersk Hangzhou' was struck by a missile in the Red Sea on Saturday evening. The incident was reported by the ship around 8:30 PM local time, as announced by the US military's Central Command (Centcom) on the social media platform X.

Maersk confirmed an incident in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, where the 'Maersk Hangzhou' was involved. The strait connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden.

According to Maersk, the crew reported observing a flash of light on the deck. However, there are no indications of a fire onboard the vessel, and efforts are underway to determine the details of the incident.

No crew members were injured, and the ship remains fully operational, continuing its journey towards the port of Suez in Egypt. 'Maersk Hangzhou' sails under the Singapore flag but is owned and operated by the Danish shipping company Maersk.

The US warships 'USS Gravely' and 'USS Laboon' assisted the container ship with the incident. In this context, 'USS Gravely' reportedly shot down two anti-ship missiles. According to Centcom, the missiles were fired from areas occupied by the Iran-supported Houthi movement in Yemen.

"This is the Houthis' 23rd illegal attack on international shipping since November 19," reported Centcom.

Earlier this month, another Maersk ship, 'Maersk Gibraltar,' was also attacked by a missile while passing through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea. Following that attack and other attacks on merchant ships in the area, Maersk decided to reroute all its ships around the southern tip of Africa instead of using the shortcut via the Suez Canal. However, the company changed its decision after the US initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG) to ensure the right to free navigation in the area.

The Houthis support Hamas in the fight against Israel and therefore claim to attack all ships connected to Israeli interests.