Red Sea, Yemen: Trimaran attacked by Gunmen

A Hong Kong flagged racing trimaran came under attack from armed gunmen in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen in late May, according to media reports.

Published 10 months ago

Source:  AP News

The Lakota, a 62-foot (19 metre) trimaran was on its way to the Mediterranean when three boats carrying militants in civilian clothes chased the yacht.

The attacked occurred on Thursday, May 19, 2022 when the Lakota was west of the Hanish Islands in the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Yemen.  European Union naval forces were in the area and were able to dispatch a helicopter to the trimaran.

This image was released by the European Union Naval Force – Somalia showing the racing sailboat Lakota in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen. (Source:  AP)

The boat was recently purchased by French racer Philippe Poupon and was being sailed from the Phillipines to the Mediterranean.

The EU monitoring in the area reported that three ships carrying militants in civilian clothes chased the vessel and were attempting to board the trimaran. Some reports said that one of the individuals made it aboard the vessel but was either chased overboard or jumped back into the ocean when he realized he had become separated from the others.

A spokesman for the EU force in the region told the Associated Press that the three boats fired upon the sailing ship. They estimated that 20 warning shots were fired and said that the people in the skiffs displayed assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

EU officials indicated that the Lakota appeared to escape after the approaches unharmed. A European Union naval force later reached the Lakota flying from the Italian frigate Carlo Bergamini. The EU force said the crew was safe.

Wade Alarie, admin for the Red Sea Passage Facebook Group, comments: “Here is yet another media article dealing with the same incident. Source – UKMTO. “Whilst details regarding the specific nature of the incident remain unclear, it is unlikely that the vessel was targeted as a result of an established and persistent piracy threat.” “The vessel can be seen in the Port of Djibouti on the 15th May 22 having registered an arrival time of 1305. The vessel then appears in Yemeni waters, SE of Hannish at 0300 on the 19th May. The vessel can be seen to transit towards the Yemen coast before proceeding NW. At a point north of Hanish the vessel is understood to have come under attack at approximately 0730UTC by three skiffs. Following the attack, the vessel is understood to have transited west into the Red Sea broadcasting a destination of Panama Canal. A naval vessel is understood to be in support and crew are safe. ” My opinion – the vessel was in the territorial waters of Yemen, and came across armed militants transiting between the Hanish Islands and the mainland.

Red Sea Passage (This is a closed FB group. If you would like to join, please email Wade Alarie at [email protected]).

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Related News:

Boarding – 33nm SSW 33nm SSW al Hudaydah (Dryad Global)

Recording Holding Trimaran Attacked off Yemen (Maritime Executive)

Houthi Pirates Accused of Attempting to Hijack Racing Yacht (Arab News)

Attack Against Yacht Highlights Need for Continued Maritime Security (DefenceWeb)

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