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Suspected attack: Saudi flagged MV Rabigh 3 Southern Red Sea

By November 17, 2019Incident Reports
Incident - Possible Attack


17 Nov 2019


15 25.0N 042 18.0E 

Ship Dimension

38m x 11m 545Gt

Ship Cargo

Operations Support Vessel (Fire Fighting Vessel)


15nm W Kamaran Island (Yemen)

Source Confidence Level


What Exactly Happened

Incident Overview

Reporting indicates that a vessel was attacked 15nm W of Kamaran Island, Southern Red Sea at 1850UTC/2150LT

Our Experts Say

Dryad Analysis

The vessel is suspected to be the Saudi Flagged, Fire Fighting / Tug vessel MV Rabigh 3. The vessel was reported to be escorting a South Korean drilling rig between Jizan and Berbera when it was reportedly approached by two speedboats containing armed men. The vessel was boarded and taken to Saleef in Yemen.

It is assessed that the individuals who boarded the vessel were Houthi rebels seeking to target Saudi interests. The crew of the hijacked vessel are reported to have been Korean, Indian, Sri Lankan with additional unknown nationalities also reported.

As yet there is no change to the standing risk profile of the Southern Red Sea. It remains that all Saudi flagged vessels exist at a state of heightened risk, with non Saudi flagged vessels at significantly lower risk transiting the region.

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