In an incident reported by British maritime security firm Ambrey on Saturday, an Israel-affiliated merchant vessel in the Arabian Sea, off the west coast of India, was targeted by an unmanned drone, resulting in a fire aboard the Liberian-flagged chemical products tanker. Fortunately, the fire was successfully extinguished, and there were no reported casualties among the crew. The incident occurred approximately 200 km (120 miles) southwest of Veraval, India.
Ambrey’s statement revealed, “Some structural damage was also reported, and some water was taken onboard. The vessel was Israel-affiliated, having recently called at Saudi Arabia and was en route to India at the time.”
The maritime security firm further highlighted that the Indian navy was actively responding to the situation. However, as of the Reuters report, there had been no immediate response from the Indian navy.
This event comes in the wake of escalating tensions in the region, with drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea attributed to Iran-backed Houthis. The Houthis claim to be supporting Palestinians facing Israeli siege in the Gaza Strip. Their attacks have targeted commercial shipping, compelling vessels to alter their routes and navigate longer paths around the southern tip of Africa.
The incident underscores the ongoing challenges and risks faced by vessels navigating through sensitive geopolitical zones, heightening concerns about the safety and security of maritime activities in the region.