MSC ship hit by missile in Red Sea

A containership owned by Switzerland-based MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s biggest shipping company, was hit by a missile in the Red Sea on March 4, 2024.

Courtesy of Indian Navy

On Monday afternoon, Yemen’s Houthi group fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from Yemen into the Gulf of Aden at M/V MSC Sky II, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) informed.

The Liberia-flagged 2,169 TEU containership was en route from Singapore to Djibouti.

The incident occurred some 91 nautical miles southeast of Aden, data provided by VesselsValue shows.

One of the missiles impacted the vessel causing a fire and minor damage. Initial reports indicate there were no injuries and the ship continued on its way.

“During her passage from Singapore to Djibouti, MSC Sky II was hit by a missile on March 4th at around 13.20utc 85 miles southeast of Aden and 170 miles east southeast of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait,” MSC said in a statement.

The missile caused a small fire that has been extinguished while no crew were injured. She is currently continuing her journey to Djibouti and will arrive today for further assessment.”

The Indian Navy team responded to the incident, with a specialized firefighting team from INS Kolkata assisting in firefighting efforts. The MSC boxship, with a crew of 23 personnel has been escorted to safe waters.

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The latest incident came only two days after the 32,200 dwt UK-owned bulker Rubymar sank in the Red Sea. The ship was attacked by Houthi rebels while transiting the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, about 35 NM south of Al Mokha, Yemen, on February 18, 2024.

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The Houthi group has increased missile and drone attacks on international commercial ships since late 2023, which were described as acts of solidarity with Palestinians. They demand a deal that would guarantee a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip as well as an uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian aid to the area.

To remind, another MSC containership, MSC United, was attacked while transiting the Red Sea on December 26, 2023. At the time of the incident, the boxship was en route from King Abdullah Port, Saudi Arabia, to Karachi, Pakistan.

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The article has been amended to include a statement by MSC.