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Maersk suspends Red Sea transits until further notice

Decision to suspend operations once again comes after attack on Maersk Hangzhou on December 30

Maersk is again suspending operations in the Red Sea following attacks on Maersk Hangzhou at the weekend. It had halted operations in mid-December and resumed them with the formation of the Operation Prosperity Guardian naval taskforce

MAERSK is again suspending all operations in the Red Sea following Houthi attacks on Maersk Hangzhou (IMO: 9784300) over the weekend.

The move follows a 48-hour pause on Sunday following two attacks on the Singapore-flagged, 15,226 teu Maersk Hangzhou, which it has now extended indefinitely.

The Danish liner first suspended operations on December 15 but outlined plans to resume transits on December 27 following the formation of the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian naval taskforce. 

“Following the December 30 incident involving our vessel, Maersk Hangzhou, we have decided to pause all transits through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden until further notice,” the company said in an advisory.

“An investigation into the incident is ongoing and we will continue to pause all cargo movement through the area while we further assess the constantly evolving situation. In cases where it makes most sense for our customers, vessels will be rerouted and continue their journey around the Cape of Good Hope.”

Maersk Hangzhou was first reported being struck by missiles on Saturday evening, according to the US Central Command. No injuries were reported and the vessel was reported as seaworthy, Centcom said on X, formerly Twitter.

Two anti-ship ballistic missiles were intercepted by USS Gravely, which responded along with USS Laboon.

The following morning, Maersk Hangzhou issued a second distress signal as it was being attacked by four Houthi small boats. Armed security on board the ship exchanged fire with the Houthis, who also opened fire on two US helicopters that responded to the incident.

“The US Navy helicopters returned fire in self-defence, sinking three of the four small boats, and killing the crews. The fourth boat fled the area,” Centcom said on X.

“There was no damage to US personnel or equipment.”


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