LONDON (Reuters) – Two commercial ships that diverted course in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden were connected to the same maritime group whose ship was captured by Yemen’s Houthis, according to shipping data and the British security company. maritime Ambrey.
Israel said on Sunday that the Houthis had seized a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea, describing the incident as an “act of Iranian terrorism” with consequences for international maritime security.
The Houthis, allies of Tehran, confirmed that they had seized a ship in that area but described it as Israeli.
Japan’s top government spokesman confirmed the capture of the Nippon Yusen-operated ship Galaxy Leader on Monday, adding that Japan was appealing to the Houthis while seeking help from Saudi, Omani and Iranian authorities to work toward the ship’s quick release and their crew. .
Two other ships also listed as commercially managed by Ray Car Carriers, Glovis Star and Hermes Leader, diverted their shipping routes on Sunday, Ambrey said Monday.
Leader Hermes had set a course south of Nishtun in Yemen when he diverted his journey.
“The ship continued sailing back to where it had come from, providing a new AIS destination as Hambantota, Sri Lanka,” Ambrey said. “The ship suffered a business interruption of a minimum of four days and sailed an additional 1,876 nautical miles.”
The Glovis Star drifted for several hours in the Red Sea before continuing its journey, AIS ship tracking data showed on Monday.
Galaxy Maritime Ltd, registered in the Isle of Man and registered owner of the Galaxy Leader, said in a statement on Monday that the ship “was illegally boarded by military personnel via helicopter” on November 19.
When asked about the diversion of the other two vessels, a company spokesman said he would not comment further on “political issues.”
Houthi leaders said last week that their forces would carry out more attacks against Israel and could attack Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
The US maritime administration MARAD said in an advisory that the Galaxy Leader had been hijacked about 50 miles west of the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah, adding that ships should “exercise caution when transiting this area.”
“Yesterday we saw a new record: for the first time we saw (an) official announcement that pirates seized a ship on the high seas, which I think is a great threat to international law and order,” said Israeli President Isaac Herzog comments on Monday, referring to the Galaxy Leader.
Report by Jonathan Saúl; Editing by Mark Porter and Christina Fincher
Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.