A Yemeni coastguard boat (Photo: Scanpix)

Indian Yacht Kills a Coast Guard Officer in South Yemen


Sat, 29-04-2023 03:06 PM, Aden

Mahra (South24) 

A Yemeni Coast Guard soldier was killed on Friday after a yacht opened fire off the coast of Nishtun in Al-Mahra governorate in the Gulf of Aden.

In a statement, the Yemeni Coast Guard (YCG) Authority in Aden said that a patrol consisting of three vessels affiliated with Yemen were shot by armed members on board of a yacht which infiltrated Yemen's territorial waters.

The statement said: "This early morning, Friday, April 28, 2023, during a routine patrolling of two YCG’s vessels and a Yemeni navy patrol vessel (small patrol boats) to monitor a contact of interest (COI) near the coast of Al-Mahra, this was in conjunction with a ship passing near the reported COI’s location, about 6 nautical miles from the coast of Ras Fartak and Hasween, it turned out to be a private yacht named MY KALIZMA".

It added: "The patrol boats introduced themselves and attempted to communicate with the yacht through the VHF radio-bridge to bridge COMMS, but the yacht captain did not respond to the repeated calls (regular interrogation), as the yacht was sailing in Yemeni territorial waters, wasn’t not flying a flag of any country (unknown) and in a very proximate location to the Yemeni coast".

After that, "the patrol boats approached the yacht in an attempt to attract the attention of the yacht’ crew to respond to the VHF communication, and to stop, but the yacht began to increase speed and started heavy firing at the Yemeni law enforcement boats by arm guard onboard"  according to the statement.

It added that the shooting resulted in the death of a Yemeni soldier and the wounding of others.

The statement also said that "the small law enforcement boats started hot pursuit but the yacht escaped sailing towards international waters. The vessels failed to catch up with the ship due to the low capabilities.

It said that "the yacht MY KALIZMA is registered in the Cook Islands and that its crew includes 9 sailors and a security team including 1 Greek and 2 Indian nationalities who have modern automatic weapons".

Local sources told "South24 Center" that Abdulsalam Al-Jadaani, a soldier in his 30s, lost his life. 

The Yemeni Coast Guard Authority criticized the statement issued by United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) that described the incident as being an "attack" against the ship. The statement said that UKMTO relied on false information from one side only.

UKMTO said initially that the ship was attacked before reducing what happened to the level an "accident" after receiving confirmations about government activity.

According to Associated Press (AP), the yacht is managed by West Coast Marine Yacht Services which is based in Mumbai and that the yacht was owned by late Welsh actor Richard Burton.

Aashim Mongia, the owner of Mumbai’s West Coast Marine Yacht Services later told The AP that "one of the guards on board the vessel suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder off Al-Mahra coast".

He claimed that “pirates” attacked the vessel first and came back in several waves to try to take the KALIZMA, forcing the ship’s three guards to fire upward of 200 rounds to protect the nine crew on board.

Al-Mahra is considered one of the most prominent land and sea routes for weapon and drug smugglers. Over the latest years, the governmental forces and the Saudi-led Coalition seized shipments of weapons and drugs along the coasts of the governorate in addition to the land crossing of Shihn that borders Oman.

South24 Center

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