Footage shows sailors being rescued from life raft after fatal Houthi attack

Footage has emerged of sailors being rescued after the first fatal attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in one of the world’s busiest trade lanes.

The attack on the Barbados-flagged Liberian-owned bulk carrier True Confidence in the Gulf of Aden killed at least three people, according to US officials.

At least four crew members were injured, of which three are in critical condition.

A US warship and the Indian navy, which were both on the scene, assisted rescue efforts.

File pic: Dario Bonazza/Reuters
A view shows Barbados-flagged bulk carrier vessel True Confidence, in Ravenna, Italy March 10, 2022. Dario Bonazza/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
The bulk carrier vessel True Confidence in March 2022. File pic: Dario Bonazza/Reuters

Footage shows sailors being pulled to safety by the Indian navy following the attack, on Wednesday around 11.30am local time.

Sailors were seen being helped from a life raft after abandoning the ship.

Later, crew members were seen being attended to by emergency services.

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The ship was set ablaze around 50 nautical miles off the coast.

What tracking data tells us about latest Houthi attack on cargo vessel – by Adam Parker, OSINT editor

At around 0001 UTC on Wednesday morning, Barbados-flagged cargo vessel True Confidence was in the Gulf of Aden and unexpectedly changed course to head away from the Red Sea.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said the ship had been receiving messages claiming to be from the Yemeni Navy. The messages were being sent for around 30 minutes and were ordering the merchant ship to change its course.

At 0341 UTC Wednesday, True Confidence was slowing and came to a stop in the minutes after.

Tracking data from MarineTraffic shows the last known location of the ship was around 0429 UTC.

Since the start of Houthi attacks in the region, it’s common for ships to turn off their tracking when travelling through the Red Sea.

The UKMTO said the incident started at 0840 UTC, about 50 nautical miles southwest of Yemen’s Port of Aden. Other vessels in the area reported “a loud bang, and a large plume of smoke”.

They later reported that a vessel had been hit and suffered damage. They also said True Confidence had been abandoned by the crew.

The Indian Navy released a rescue video of 21 crew, they say they arrived at the location at 1345 UTC.

The Houthis began attacking ships in and around the Red Sea in October, and say their aim is to stop Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The White House has warned there will be a response to the attack.

It is unclear what that will be, but the US has already launched a series of airstrikes targeting the Houthis, a rebel group that has held Yemen’s capital since 2014.

It comes after another ship sank last weekend after being abandoned following a Houthi attack.

The Rubymar cargo vessel has been drifting in the Red Sea since it was hit by a Houthi missile in the Bab al Mandeb Strait on Sunday 18 February.

All crew were safely evacuated from the vessel, which is carrying 22,000 tonnes of fertiliser believed to be volatile.

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