A Maltese-flagged oil tanker received a warning of explosions on the water at the eastern mouth of the Gulf of Aden in the first potential Houthi attack against shipping in July.

The ship was heading west when it received a warning from a coalition warship about an incident close by, according to maritime security company Diaplous.

The ship, which was not identified, was 330 km east of the Yemeni coastal town of Nishtun. If confirmed as a Houthi attack off the coast of Oman, it would be one of the eastern-most attacks over the past eight months.

The vessel and crew were safe and the ship was heading to its next port of call, said UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

“Authorities are investigating. Vessels are urged to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO,” it said.

The apparent attack followed a lull in activity against commercial shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

A cargo ship master reported on 30 June being followed for an hour by 12 smaller boats in the southern Red Sea.

The vessel was not named but its captain said the swarm of smaller craft included fast vessels and smaller kayak-type boats, some of which appeared to be uncrewed.

The boats remained near the vessel for an hour before leaving the area, UKMTO said. The ship and its crew were not harmed and the vessel continued to its next port of call.

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