CMA CGM says Koi was not hit, but is reported to be ending Red Sea transits for now

France-based shipping line CMA CGM has said that Houthi claims to have hit container ship Koi (IMO 9461489) last week were false.

The company said that “we understand that the vessel briefly altered course to assist in the medevac of a crew member who had fallen ill. The claims of an attack on the vessel are not correct.”

Lloyd’s List Intelligence data showed that the Koi came near the boundary between Oman and Yemen at around 10:30 on January 30th and appeared to switch off its AIS before entering the Gulf of Aden. On January 31st it turned up at Djibouti anchorage, presumably having decided for the moment not to enter the Red Sea. An added factor could have been the reported medical incident. Subsequent to this it was said that the Koi had returned in the direction of Suez.

No attack was reported to the UKMTO.

Hours later on Thursday US CENTCOM and UKMTO confirmed that the same ship had again seen nearby explosions. They said the vessel at the time had reached about 57nm to the west of Houth-held Hodeidah in north-west Yemen. The vessel was undamaged.

Meanwhile, CMA CGM was reported to have suspended transits in the Red Sea. The French line has not confirmed publicly any change, but according to Bloomberg the company informed crews on Friday morning that they would no longer have to go through the Red Sea.

Apparently the company will continue some transits of the Suez Canal, likely for shipments to and from Saudi Arabia. This would keep the vessels away from the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

In December, and again in January, CMA CGM said that it would continue to send some vessels through the Red Sea. Its CEO told the Financial Times that CMA CGM was sending vessels through the region if they could be accompanied by a warship, and that such decisions would be on a case-by-case basis.

On Saturday night February 3rd the US and UK launched joint strikes on 36 Houthi targets across 13 locations in Yemen.

2011-built, Liberia-flagged, 91,585 gt Koi is owned by Jupiter 12 Ltd care of manager Oceonix Services Ltd of London, UK. ISM manager is Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (European syndicate) on behalf of Jupiter 12 Ltd. By February 4th the vessel had arrived at the Suez Canal, en route to Piraeus, Greece (ETA February 6th).