Third commercial ship in a week struck by a drone near Yemen

Another commercial vessel was struck by a drone south of Yemen, the third such incident in as many days that’s underscoring the intensifying danger to vessels in one of the world’s most vital waterways.

The attack occurred about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of Aden, Yemen, according to the UK Navy. The ship involved was a bulk commodity carrier, according to intelligence companies Ambrey Analytics and Diaplous, making it the third one of that kind to be struck this week. US Central Command said a one-way attack drone launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen struck US-owned and operated M/V Genco Picardy in the Gulf of Aden.

Since late last week, the US Navy and a key trade body have been advising merchant ships that security in the southern Red Sea remains unstable and that it is advisable to avoid the area. That follows US and UK strikes on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been attacking merchant shipping in protest over Israel’s continued war with Hamas. 

The result has been an ever-sprawling rupture in global shipping. Much of the world’s container fleet is sailing thousands of miles around Africa, rather than using the Red Sea. 

In recent days, other types of ships, such as oil tankers, have also reduced the number of journeys they’re making through the region. A growing number are also taking the unusual step of flagging their lack of link to Israel, in a bid to gain safe passage through the waterway. 

There was damage to its gangway as a result of the attack, Ambrey said, and it was sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands. –BLOOMBERG