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Bulk carrier struck by Houthi missile

Bulk carrier struck by Houthi missile
Sam Chambers February 12, 2024

A 20-year-old panamax bulk carrier belonging to NASDAQ-listed Star Bulk became the latest Houthi target today. The Star Iris was shot at twice in the space of 20 minutes by missiles while transiting the Bab al Mandab strait in a southeast direction.

AIS data from MarineTraffic shows the ship departed from Vila do Conde port in Brazil on January 12 and was heading to the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran.

Maritime security specialists Ambrey report the panamax sustained physical damage on its starboard side. No crew were reported injured.

“The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces targeted the American ship Star Iris in the Red Sea with a number of suitable naval missiles, and the strikes were accurate and direct,” read a statement issued today by the Houthis.

The attack is the 51st on merchant ships since the start of November when the Houthis from Yemen decided to side with the Palestinians in their ongoing war with Israel.

The strike, which took place early this morning, was the first reported attack for six days in the dangerous Red Sea area.

On February 6, another Star Bulk vessel, the Star Nasia kamsarmax, suffered minor damage when three missiles were fired at it.

Speaking with Splash two weeks ago, Arsenio Dominguez, the new secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), called for a “multi-faceted” solution to the ongoing Red Sea shipping crisis.

“The solution has to be multi-faceted: enhanced ship security; a cessation of hostile activity which targets innocent seafarers; and regional and international efforts to reach a peaceful resolution to the problem,” Dominguez said.