A bulk carrier hit by a fatal missile strike in the Gulf of Aden was insured in the London war risk market.

TradeWinds understands that Navium Marine is the lead underwriter on the 50,488-dwt True Confidence (built 2011), which was abandoned after a Houthi missile strike that claimed three lives.

Attempts to contact the London-based insurer, a managing general agent backed by Fidelis MGU, were unsuccessful.

The vessel was hit by a missile strike in the accommodation area, claiming three lives and forcing crew to abandon ship.

The vessel is reported to have suffered “significant damage” but its hull is intact.

Salvage is in the process of being arranged with the help of the ship’s protection and indemnity insurer, the West of England.

A Lloyd’s Open Form salvage contract seems a likely outcome to secure the vessel, with tugs ready to engage despite the security threat of further Houthi attacks.

While the ship does not appear to be in immediate danger of sinking, underwriters will be keen to avoid a situation like the 32,300-dwt Rubymar (built 1997), where prolonged drifting following a missile hit led to the loss of the vessel and the threat of pollution.

Pictures show the vessel is on fire. It is also fully laden with deck cargo, which could be an additional risk factor in any salvage operation.

The bulk carrier has a market value of $17.6m, according to VesselsValue.

The London insurance market is the leading provider of war risk cover to the shipping industry but has so far avoided a major claim from the more than 60 missile attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

With the insurance coverage of the Rubymar uncertain, its loss may not result in a major claim.

The fallout from the True Confidence is likely to add to pressure to push up war risk rates in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region, which have been as high as 1% of hull values.

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