Another U.S. Vessel Attacked in Red Sea

by | Jan 18, 2024 | Maritime Law

The bulk carrier GENCO PICARDY was hit by a drone on January 17, 2024.  At the time, the vessel was in the western portion of the Gulf of Aden.  According to reports, a drone carrying explosives was launched from Yemeni territory and collided with the vessel.  Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack.  The vessel is operated by New York-based GENCO Shipping.

In response to an attack earlier this week on the GIBRALTAR EAGLE, the U.S. Maritime Administration issued an alert to merchant vessels, stating in part:

There continues to be a high degree of risk to commercial vessels transiting the Southern Red Sea between 12N and 16N. While the decision to transit remains at the discretion of individual vessels and companies, it is recommended that U.S. flag and U.S. owned commercial vessels remain North of 18N in the Red Sea or East of 46E in the Gulf of Aden until further notice.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving vessels.  A fishing boat capsized off the coast of South Carolina on December 19, 2023.  A sailboat capsized near Texas City, Texas on December 29, 2023, killing one person on board.  There was a deadly fire on the container ship STRIDE in the Port of Houston on the morning of January 8, 2024.  The vessel’s second engineer was killed in an explosion in the engine room on the product tanker TORC on January 8, 2024.  The bulk carrier GIBRALTAR EAGLE was hit by a missile while in the Gulf of Aden on January 15, 2024.

It can be dangerous to work in any industry when safety considerations are not taken seriously.  Safe offshore vessel owners and operators must ensure that their ships do not put the lives of hard working men and women at risk.  Safe companies must be proactive and take preventative measures, including regular maintenance and repairs, to also ensure that the environment is not impacted.

Even when a company has practices and procedures in place to prevent incidents like this, mishaps such as the one described above are cannot be completely eliminated.  All too often, human error and negligence are the reasons for these vessel collisions.  Whether it is due to poor judgment, a normalization of deviance from the proper procedures or a lack of proper rest and recovery, humans err and sometimes these errors result in the property damage, injury or death.  Operating modern sea vessels is not an inherently unsafe act as long as those responsible do so in such a manner that is not negligent. When the operation of sea vessels is conducted in a negligent manner, it does not take long for the situation to become dangerous.

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The experienced and aggressive vessel accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a ship. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to maritime injuries, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your rights.