More ships flag no link with Israel as Red Sea turmoil continues

Cargo ships are broadcasting that they are not connected with Israel in an effort to avoid Houthi attacks in the Red Sea area.

At least 21 vessels were signaling that they have no ties with the country, or sending similar messages, in ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg on Wednesday. The majority of these ships were in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden areas.

That is a marked increase from last week, in an indication that the shipping industry is increasingly alarmed about the dangers facing vessels transiting the vital waterway. Several owners have said they will no longer use the route, and coalition forces and a large shipping trade group have recommended that shippers consider avoiding an area at the southern end of the Red Sea.

The messages appear as the ships’ signaled destination and are not uniform. Examples include:

Ship name Signal 
PACIFIC MERIT NO LINK ISRAELI
SM OSPREY NO RELATION TO ISRAEL
PING HAI CNCW_NO LINK ISRAEL
MSXT ATHENA VSL NO CONT ISRAEL
VORAS INDIA NOCON W ISRAEL
LADA NOTHING WITH ISRAEL

The Lucky Alisa, a 75,000-ton bulk carrier, opted for a different approach as it passed through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the Red Sea’s southern end on Tuesday, signaling that all crew onboard are from China. Other ships have previously signaled similar messages. 

Meanwhile, at least one of those signaling no linkage to Israel, the Port Klang Voyager, was nowhere near the area — its latest signal showed it off the coast of South Africa. –BLOOMBERG