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Video: Indian Navy Assists MSC Ship with Fire After Houthi Attack

box fire on MSC vessel
Fire teams fighting the fire on the MSC Sky II after damage from a Houthi attack (Indian Navy)

Published Mar 5, 2024 12:44 PM by The Maritime Executive


MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company confirmed that its vessel MSC Sky II suffered minor damage including a fire after it was struck by the Houthis. The Indian Navy went to the vessel’s aid after the attack and reported that they also escorted the ship to safe waters.

The 30,000 dwt vessel is operating as an “extra vessel” according to MSC’s online tracking system and was sailing from Singapore due to arrive in Djibouti on March 4. The vessel was approximately 91 nautical miles southeast of Aden yesterday afternoon when the Houthis launched two missiles, with one damaging the ship and the second impacting the water. The EU’s Operation Aspides separately has warned that vessels should “make a wide detour around the southern islands of the Red Sea.”

 

Indian Navy assisted the MSC Sky II after the attack (Indian Navy)

 

The Indian vessel Kolkata, which is patrolling the southern waters and the area in the Gulf of Aden, responded after the attack. A specialized 12-member firefighting team boarded the MSC Sky II early on March 5 to assist with the firefight. An explosive disposal team also went aboard the container ship to provide a residual risk assessment and ensure that there were no further dangers.

Pictures provided by the Indian Navy show at least one container fire that was extinguished. They said that the crew of 23, including 13 Indians, was not injured.

 

 

U.S. Central Command reports the vessel did not request assistance and continued on its way. MSC confirms that the ship will be accessed for damage in Djibouti where it was expected to arrive according to the tracking system on March 6. It is a smaller vessel in MSC’s fleet, built in 1999 it has a capacity of 2,169 TEU. It is scheduled to next sail to Colombo.

The situation in the Red Sea region continues tense with accusations over the damage to subsea cables and new threats from the Houthis. HGC Global Communications based in Hong Kong reported the cable damage saying that it is affecting as much as a quarter of the data traffic through the region, while the Houthis are blaming the Americans and British. 

The Houthi’s designated minister of communications Al-Numair issued a statement saying that “submarine cable ships must first obtain a permit before entering Yemeni territorial waters. We at Yemeni Communications are ready to help meet their requests for a permit and introducing the ships to the Yemeni naval forces, and we confirm this out of concern for their safety.” 

Many media outlets are interpreting this as the Houthis plan to demand all ships entering the area will require permits. The Houthi continue to also promise further surprises by talking of “submarines” and other weapons. CENTCOM previously reported that U.S. forces destroyed a new form of drone submersible deployed by the Houthis.