A drone exploded near a vessel in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen on Saturday night, according to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO). The incident took place about 50 nautical miles west of Hodeidah, Yemen. Earlier in the evening, another attack was reported near the Bab el Mandeb strait, 45 nautical miles south west of Saleef, Yemen. According to UKMTO, a drone detonated near a vessel in the area. No damage or injuries were reported. The attacks are the latest affecting maritime traffic in the region as threats by the Iran-backed Houthis and by Iranian officials escalate.
On Saturday morning, the MV Chem Pluto, a tanker partially managed by an Israeli-owned company, was hit by a drone in the Arabian Sea, about 200 nautical miles south west of Veraval, India. No injuries were reported in the attack. While the attack took place over 1,600 km away from Yemen, it was only 1,000 km from the coast of Iran, with a Pentagon spokesperson stating that the drone was launched from Iran. Shortly after the attack in the Arabian Sea, an Indian Navy surveillance aircraft established communication with the vessel, according to The Hindu. An Indian Navy warship also headed towards the vessel. “The vessel has started making way towards Mumbai post undertaking damage assessment and repairs on its power generation systems. The vessel is likely to enter Mumbai and sought escort assistance due to steering issues. ICGS Vikram will be escorting the ship during its passage,” Commandant Niranjan Pratap Singh, PRO Indian Coast Guard, told The Hindu.