23 February 2024
Another Houthi missile attack on a Greek vessel has been recorded today outside the port of Saleef in the Red Sea area.
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Houthi Missile Incident
A new incident of Houthi missile attack on the Red Sea has been reported by international agencies. The bulk carrier vessel M/V ZOGRAFIA has been hit by a Houthi missile 76 nautical miles outside the port of Saleef. The prescribed vessel is reported to be under the ownership of the Greek shipping company Vulcanus Technical Maritime Enterprises.
According to the top reporting agencies, the Houthi missile has hit the Greek interests vessel, causing the deck to burst into flames.
The dry bulk carrier, M/V ZOGRAFIA with DWT 56,894 MT, built in 2010 has suffered small scale damages while there are no injuries within the crew from the Houthi missile attack.
According to the british consultant Ambrey, the vessel sails under the Maltese flag and it was hit 76 nautical miles outside the port of Saleef from the Houthi missile.
The vessel is owned by the Greek shipping company Vulcanus Technical Maritime Enterprises, operating in Piraeus. It should be noted that initially the specialized reporting agency Trade Winds claimed about Eagle Bulk Carriers, of Mr. Coustas.
According to Vulcanus Technical Maritime Enterprises, the ship’s crew of 24 people is intact and in good health. ZOGRAFIA had departed from Vietnam with direction to Israel when the incident took place and now is heading to Suez where the damages will be evaluated accordingly.
As a consequence of the attacks in the Red Sea, there is a great diminution of traffic in the southern part of the area. Specifically, 90% of vessels have disappeared compared to last year’s number. This is because ships avoid crossing the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea for their safety, and they are forced to reroute all the way around the Cape of Good Hope. On a typical trip from Shanghai to Rotterdam this reroute results in twice the distance. Hence, during the last couple of months, the delivery costs have almost doubled due to the Houthis creating this bottleneck and affecting world trade.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported last week that several “unauthorized” people wearing military-style black uniforms and masks boarded a ship in the Gulf of Oman, with TankerTrackers.com able to confirm the ship in question is the Greek vessel St Nikolas, formerly known as Suez Rajan.
The incident took place outside the Strait of Hormuz, in waters between Oman and Iran. Particularly, the UK maritime security consultant, Ambrey suggested that 6 people have boarded the Greek vessel. This is the latest attack on merchant shipping during this period of extreme instability in the 3 months since Israel and Hamas initiated a war, which drew the Houthis from Yemen, backed by Iranian firepower and intelligence, into the conflict.
The Boarded Greek Vessel
The 2011-built Suezmax vessel is owned by Greece’s Empire Navigation. In September last year, Empire Navigation admitted to violating US sanctions by shipping a cargo of Iranian crude oil aboard the same ship.
Moreover, Washington state seized the tanker in last year’s April. The vessel was caught transferring oil off Singapore. Following the arrest, Empire Navigation entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US, pledging to transport some 800,000 barrels of illicit Iranian crude to the US for seizure and forfeiture. Iran responded to the arrest by seizing two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz within the space of a week.
A Greek vessel was boarded this morning by several “unauthorized” people wearing military-style black uniforms and masks in the Gulf of Oman.