British ship sinks after Houthi attack

British ship sinks after Houthi attack

The British cargo ship Rubymar sank two weeks after it was attacked by the Houthis in the Gulf of Aden. The Yemeni government reported that Rubimar was submerged and remained under water for several days. It was the first ship to be sunk since Iran-backed rebels in Yemen began attacking ships in the Red Sea.

Experts warn that the ship was carrying fertilizers and the risk of sinking could cause an “ecological disaster”.

What happened to Rubymar?

The Rubimar was near the Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Gulf of Aden when it was hit by two missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels. Ten days ago, the British government announced that the ship was taking on water and that all 24 crew members had been rescued.

The BBC obtained an image of the ship on February 21, which showed the ship submerged at the stern, but still afloat. The ship's owners then said it was being towed to nearby Djibouti, but could still sink. They confirmed that this could not be confirmed as there was no one else on board.

Potential environmental impact

The vessel is believed to be carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, prime minister of Yemen's internationally recognized government, called the sinking an “unprecedented environmental disaster”. Greenpeace said the ammonium nitrate spill could have “significant impacts on marine ecosystems”.

Conflict in the Gulf of Aden

Since November, Houthi rebels have been carrying out attacks on ships bound for Israel in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, claiming their actions are in support of the Palestinians in Gaza.

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Even US and UK strikes could not slow down the Houthi onslaught. They insist that the attacks will continue until Israel ends its military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Experts fear the incident could bring further instability to a region already plagued by conflict and tensions. If attacks on merchant ships continue, the Red Sea will become a dangerous shipping lane and affect global trade.

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About the Author: Morton Obrien

"Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator."

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