Yemen: Three Polish yachts fired upon in Red Sea – December 2017

A sailing yacht was attacked 20 km south-west of the Yemeni port of Hodeidah on 7 December 2017, with no harm done to vessel or crew. The incident is believed to related to the Yemen conflict.

Published 5 years ago, updated 4 years ago

UKMTO Warning 001/DEC/2017 was issued after a sailing yacht was attacked 20 km southwest of the Yemeni port of Hodeidah on 7 December 2017.

Subsequent inquiries revealed that one of a group of three catamarans on route to Seychelles had experienced damage to its mainsail and decided to effect repairs in Hodeidah. After the group left the port area they were approached by two skiffs with armed personnel on-board who fired shots at one of the catamarans.

The yacht’s embarked AST exchanged shots with the skiffs, which then withdrew. The crew was unharmed and the vessels continued their passage. It is thought that this incident is unlikely to be piracy related and most likely linked to the Yemen conflict and in particular the unstable situation around the port of Hodeidah.

This incident does serve as a timely reminder to vessel operators of the dangers to all types of ships operating in the littoral waters off Yemen Red Sea ports. After discussion with the yacht’s operations manager, it was apparent that the yacht’s crews had not been adequately briefed of the threat posed to them in that area and that they had not registered their transit with UKMTO or MSCHOA.

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