Crew extinguishes blaze on tanker hit by missile in Gulf of Aden

Crew extinguishes blaze on tanker hit by missile in Gulf of Aden


Crew extinguishes blaze on tanker hit by missile in Gulf of Aden

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Crews extinguished a fire on board the tanker Marlin Luanda on Saturday after the vessel was struck by a Houthi anti-ship missile in the Gulf of Aden on Friday, commodities trader Trafigura said.

"All crew on board the Marlin Luanda are safe and the fire in the cargo tank has been fully extinguished. The vessel is now sailing towards a safe harbour," Trafigura said in a statement, adding that the firefighting effort had been supported by Indian, U.S. and French navy vessels.

The US military said earlier that a US Navy ship and other vessels were providing assistance after the Marlin Luanda was hit by a Houthi anti-ship missile.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi militants have launched waves of exploding drones and missiles at vessels since Nov 19, in response to Israel's military operations in Gaza.

Some shipping companies have suspended transits through the Red Sea and taken much longer, costlier journeys around Africa.

The Houthi attacks have primarily targeted container vessels moving through the Red Sea. Many oil tankers have kept using the route.

The Marshall Islands-flagged Marlin Luanda issued a distress call on Friday and reported damage, US Central Command said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The USS Carney and other coalition ships were providing assistance to the tanker, it said.

The tanker was carrying Russian naphtha purchased below the price cap in line with G7 sanctions, a Trafigura spokesperson said on Friday.

US and British warplanes, ships and submarines have responded to the Houthi attacks on shipping in recent weeks with dozens of retaliatory airstrikes across Yemen against Houthi forces.

About eight hours after the incident involving the Marlin Luanda, the U.S. military destroyed a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed into the Red Sea and ready to launch, Central Command said.

The missile "presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the US Navy ships in the region," it said.

The Houthis' Al-Masira television said on Saturday that the United States and Britain launched two airstrikes that targeted the port of Ras Issa, Yemen's main oil export terminal.

It was not clear if this was the strike referred to by Central Command, and the U.S. Fifth Fleet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.